Higher interest rates manageable for most sovereigns - S&P
(Reuters) - The direct costs of higher refinancing rates are manageable for most sovereign borrowers, S&P Global Ratings said in a report on Monday looking at the fiscal implications of rising bond yields.
A 100 basis point rise in refinancing rates would represent no shock to developed governments, as 15 of the 18 countries largest sovereigns are rolling over maturing debt at a marginal rate over 100 bps below their average cost of debt, S&P said.
The ratings agency said long-dated debt profiles were another factor, but said it does not expect Japan and the United States, which have relatively higher short-term debt maturities, to face a rates shock either.
Even under a shock scenario, where refinancing rates increase by 300 basis points, the majority of sovereigns would pay either the same or less interest as a share of GDP than they did in 2018, S&P said, as most developed and emerging markets would see less than a 1 percentage point increase through 2023.
S&P identified South Africa, Egypt, Ghana and Kenya as the emerging markets most vulnerable to a rise in rates, estimating these sovereigns would see 0.9 to 1.3 percentage point increase in interest costs over the first year.
The study looked at the gross cost of commercial debt, without considering net costs, which are usually lower for sovereigns.
(Reporting by Yoruk Bahceli; editing by Dhara Ranasinghe)
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