Fedeli Pitches Ontario as Haven to Europe Investors Amid Brexit

(Bloomberg) -- Ontario is pitching its debt to European investors as a haven from Brexit and other geopolitical risks, allowing the world’s largest sub-sovereign borrower to expand its list of bond buyers.

“On this trip, a lot of people are bringing up Brexit, U.S. and China in their discussions,” Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli said in a BNN Bloomberg TV interview in London Tuesday. Investors view Ontario as a “safe haven” and “sea of tranquility,” Fedeli said.

Fedeli and his top debt manager are visiting European investors just as the Canadian economy is picking up steam after a slowdown in the first quarter. Canada’s unemployment rate fell in May to 5.4%, the lowest in data going back to 1976.

Ontario, which is a regular issuer of green bonds in the domestic market, is finding investor interest for an eventual deal in Europe, said Fedeli. Ontario is Canada’s most-populous province.

Ontario issued C$1 billion ($750 million) of 10-year bonds Tuesday, meaning it has raised C$8.1 billion this fiscal year, said Gadi Mayman, chief executive officer of the Ontario Financing Authority. That’s more than a quarter of the C$36 billion in financing targeted for the fiscal year ending in March. The latest transaction was priced to yield 2.257%, compared with a 3.44% average borrowing cost estimated by the province for the current period.

“We’re now back to incredibly attractive interest rates, so we’re trying to move out the curve, borrow as much 10- and 30-year paper as we can and take advantage of these rates,” Mayman said in an interview in London.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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