* Debt agency chief says wants to build up linker curve
* Does not see ECB bond-buying impacting German yields
* Says no reason to expect downgrade of German debt
By Sarah Marsh and Christina Amann
BERLIN, Jan 15 Germany's debt agency is seeking
the chance to issue bonds denominated in a foreign currency but
volatile financial markets make it tough to find a window of
opportunity that is long enough, the agency head told Reuters.
Carl Heinz Daube, who steps down on Wednesday after five
years of administering Germany's one trillion euros of debt,
also said the agency would continue to build up the curve of
German inflation-linked bonds and was open about maturities.
"Last year we did spot a window of opportunity for (a
foreign currency bond) but it was just too short as the markets
were so volatile," said Daube. "We have to be sure that the
window of opportunity holds for about a week."
The debt agency has also been steadily issuing
inflation-linked bonds in an increasingly broad spectrum of
maturities and has announced it would issue the so-called
linkers this year on a regular monthly basis.
"We want to further build up the linker curve, make linker
auctions more transparent and regular," Daube said. "We still
have to see if we will issue a 30-year linker this year, we have
to check which maturities work given demand and are open about
the ones we will try."
Daube, who hands over the reins of the debt agency to Aareal
Bank treasury chief Tammo Diemer on Wednesday, also said he did
not expect euro zone bond purchases by the European Central Bank
(ECB) to impact German yields.
"Until now the ECB bond-buying has had no impact on Bunds so
I cannot imagine it will have in the future," Daube said.
Daube said the inclusion from 2013 of provisions making it
easier to restructure euro zone government debt in a crisis -
the "collective action clauses" (CAC) - would not impact bonds
with top credit ratings such as Germany's.
From Jan. 1, newly-issued euro zone government bonds must
carry CACs, making it the first developed market to impose such
They allow a two-thirds majority of bondholders that agree
to a restructuring to force a dissenting minority to
participate. In future, everyone will have to share the pain,
should a government go the same way as Greece and need to cut
its debt burden radically to avoid defaulting.
"Even for countries with worse ratings, any impact of CAC
clauses on prices is likely to be temporary. History shows you
this, when Mexico introduced CACs in the mid-90s, prices varied
only for a few months and then settled back down," Daube said.
"Average investors will likely actually find CACs reduce
stress because they know no one, including hedge funds, would be
exempt from a restructuring if that arose."
Daube said the inclusion of CACs would mostly impact
liquidity on the strip markets.
The debt agency chief also said that he could not see any
reason why the triple-A rating for Europe's largest economy
should be downgraded this year, given rising tax revenues and
its relatively strong performance. Data earlier on Tuesday
showed the economy grew 0.7 percent in 2012.
Daube also said that while several auctions in 2012 had been
technically uncovered, in part due to record low yields, the
agency still did not believe in obliging primary bidders to buy
up the debt on offer as in other countries such as France.
On average, there was twice as much demand for German debt
as bonds on offer last year, and Germany's bidding system had
proven popular enough for many banks to join its group of
primary bidders throughout the crisis, Daube said.
(Editing by Stephen Nisbet)
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