“Republic” bonds get off to good start

Photo: Filip Jandourek, Czech Radio

The Finance Ministry has announced that orders for the special “Republic” bonds, issued to mark the centenary of Czechoslovakia late last year have exceeded 3 billion Czech crowns. A second issue of the bonds has already come on the market.

Alena Schillerová,  photo: Michaela Danelová,  Czech Radio
The “Republic” bonds proudly presented to the public by Finance Minister Alena Schillerová in November of last year have got off to a good start, despite the fact that they carry a relatively low interest rate of 2.1%. Between December 1st and January 18th Czechs purchased 3.07 billion crowns worth of these bonds, according to Finance Minister Alena Schillerová.

Minister Schillerová, told the news site Novinky she greatly welcomed the interest from the public, noting that citizens clearly viewed the Czech state as a trusted partner and the bonds as a safe investment.

The minister has set her sights high, planning three issues of the bonds and saying that orders to the tune of 80 billion crowns would be a “very good result”. This would roughly equal five percent of the overall state debt. However the minister did not specify a timeframe for the set goal.

Photo: Filip Jandourek,  Czech Radio
Financial experts note that while the 2.1 % interest rate barely covers inflation, the bonds have low liquidity and the 15 percent tax does not add to their attraction, state bonds are a safe investment which clearly appeals to the largely conservative Czech investor. Another aspect which may help make this issue a success is the patriotic note struck by the Finance Ministry in presenting the ”Czechoslovak centenary bonds” with many people buying them as gifts for their children and grandchildren.

The second issue of the bonds went on the market on this week, with people able to place orders until March 15th. The third issue is planned for March 18th until June 14th.

State bonds for households were reintroduced in 2011 by then finance minister Miroslav Kalousek and between 2011 and 2014 they sold to the tune of almost 106 billion crowns. In the years that followed people gradually collected their investments and only around 5.2 billion worth of the original bonds remain in public hands.