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European debt agencies prepared for ECB tapering – Portugal debt agency head

Jun 8, 2021

LONDON (Reuters) – Debt management agencies in the euro area are prepared for the day the European Central Bank starts to unwind its pandemic emergncy bond purchases, the head of Portugal’s debt management office said on Tuesday.

Cristina Casalinho, chief executive officer of the Portuguese treasury and debt management agency, said debt agencies had taken advantage of the low interest rate environment to extend the average maturities of their debt profiles, providing a buffer against rising bond yields.

“We are preparing for that, all the DMOs have prepared for the day the ECB tapers,” Casalinho told a OMFIF conference on the future of sovereign debt management.

Addressing concerns about debt sustainability, she added that financing needs should fall as the euro zone economy recovers.

Speaking at the same panel, chief executive officer of the UK Debt Management Office Robert Stheeman said tapering was an decision for the Bank of England. He said he expects the tapering would be gradual and measured.

(Reporting by Dhara Ranasinghe; editing by Yoruk Bahceli)