UK sells first government bond with a negative yield

Negative yield means buyers are effectively paying for privilege of lending to UK government

  Red buses pass the Bank of England in the financial district in the City of London, Britain. Photograph: Neil Hall/EPA

Red buses pass the Bank of England in the financial district in the City of London, Britain. Photograph: Neil Hall/EPA

 

Britain sold a government bond that pays a negative yield for the first time on Wednesday - meaning that Britain’s government is effectively being paid to borrow as investors agreed to be paid back slightly less than they lent.

The bond, which matures in July 2023, sold at an average yield of -0.003 per cent. While investors will receive an annual interest payment of 0.75 per cent, they paid above face value for the bond so the actual return in cash terms is less than they have lent.

Demand for the bond was low by recent standards, with investors bidding for just over twice the £3.75 billion (€4.2 billion) on offer.

The last time a bid-to-cover ratio was below Wednesday’s 2.15 was on March 19th, before the BoE announced it would buy an extra £200 billion of assets, mostly government bonds, to support the economy through the coronavirus crisis. - Reuters