Report highlights include:
- EU Member States and the UK issued EUR 944 bn in bonds and bills throughout 1Q23, which represents an increase of 20% (QoQ) compared to 4Q22, and an increase of 19% (YoY) compared to 1Q22. The UK had the largest increase in total (bond and bill) issuance during 1Q23, with first-quarter issuance up 77% YoY compared to 1Q22, driven by a surge in Gilt issuance. There were also increased volumes of bonds issued in Germany, France and Spain during 1Q23, while in the Netherlands and Austria there was a significant increase in treasury bill issuance.
- Record trading volumes in European (EU+UK) government bonds during Q1 2023, according to TraX data from MarketAxess. The traded amount in Q1 2023 was the highest average daily trading volume in European government bonds since records began in 2014, with trading volume increasing 22% (QoQ) and 6% (YoY).
- Outstanding amount of European ESG government bonds reached EUR 359 bn during 1Q23. Volumes were driven by tap issuance by the European Commission (EUR 6.0 bn), the UK (EUR 5.8 bn), France (EUR 3.2 bn), Germany (EUR 3.0 bn), Italy (EUR 2.4 bn), Belgium (EUR 0.9 bn), Hungary (EUR 0.05 bn) and additional green bond references issued in Ireland (EUR 3.5 bn) and Austria (1.4 bn). Austria became the first sovereign worldwide to issue green commercial paper in March 2023, after issuing the first sovereign green bill in October 2022.
- There was a net loss of 3 primary dealers in Europe from January 2023 to April 2023. There were 3 exits and no entries of banks to European Primary Dealer systems affecting the Bulgarian sovereign debt market and the European Commission Primary Dealer Network (EU PDN).
- During 1Q23 there were 2 long-term credit rating upgrades for European countries and 1 downgrade. This was followed by 1 further upgrade and 1 downgrade in 2Q23 to date, bringing the 2023 year-to-date total to 3 upgrades and 2 downgrades.
- The average bid-cover ratio (demand/amount allocated) was 2.1 in 1Q23, an increase of 3.2% (QoQ) from 4Q22 and a decrease of 5.0% from 1Q22 (YoY).