SINGAPORE - Companies took advantage of continued low interest rates last year to issue more debt, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said yesterday.
The outstanding volume of Singapore corporate debt expanded 18 per cent to reach $272.4 billion at the end of last year.
New debt issuance increased by 38 per cent to $185.5 billion, driven mainly by an 82 per cent increase in short-term debt issuances - those with tenors of less than a year.
Long-term debt issuances, with tenors of over a year, declined 15 per cent, as many issuers in Singapore had already front-loaded their long-term funding needs in 2012 to lock in low borrowing costs, the MAS said.
Issuers also focused on issuing shorter tenor debt in 2013 amidst market uncertainty.
The commencement of Chinese yuan or renminbi clearing arrangements in May last year has helped to catalyse Singapore's offshore yuan bond market, the MAS added.
Five offshore yuan bonds, totalling 4.5 billion yuan, successfully came to market last year. These were very well subscribed and saw strong demand in Asia, including among Singapore investors.