The trouble with corporate bonds issued in foreign currencies

By Staff | April 11, 2017 | Last updated on April 11, 2017
1 min read

The Canadian economy is on an upward course, but a depreciating loonie won’t help concerns over investment spending.

Read: BoC survey shows modest investment pickup

Depreciating currency hurts business investment spending if a country has long-term debt issued in foreign currencies, reveals research by the Bank for International Settlements.

While that research covers emerging markets, “the same conclusion could apply to Canada,” says Krishen Rangasamy, senior economist at National Bank Financial, in an research note.

Rangasamy says that Canadian corporations are increasingly issuing new debt in foreign currencies to attract international investors. “Outstanding corporate bonds denominated in foreign currencies were larger than those denominated in Canadian dollars for the third consecutive year in 2016,” he says.

The result: corresponding interest payments increase, leaving less available cash for investment spending.

“A weakening loonie (courtesy of the Bank of Canada’s dovish tendencies) has made importing machinery more expensive, which explains perhaps the reluctance of Canadian firms to invest,” says Rangasamy.

Read: The BoC’s unofficial lower-loonie policy

Read the full BIS paper here.

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Household spending continues to drive growth

Don’t be fooled by strong growth expectations

Costs of protectionism are steep, says BoC’s Poloz staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.