What are government treasury bills?

These are short-term money market debt instruments considered to have the lowest risk within the domestic market (ranging from 91, 182, 273 and 364 days) issued by the Central Bank of Eswatini on behalf of the Government of Eswatini. T-Bills are issued through a competitive bidding process at a discount from par, which translates to prepaid interest. The minimum bid for competitive bidders is five million emalangeni (SZL5, 000,000.00), thereafter in multiples of five million emalangeni (SZL5, 000,000.00). Investors who are not able to bid competitively i.e. non-competitive bidders assume the weighted average discount rate from the accepted bids by competitive bidders. The minimum bid for the non- competitive bidders is ten thousand emalangeni (SZL10, 000.00) and thereafter in multiples of ten thousand emalangeni (SZL10, 000.00).

Why issue treasury bills?

The Government of Eswatini, like other governments, issues T-bills to raise money needed to pay its short term budgetary expenses. While Government also finances its operations through taxation and levies, sometimes the timing in the receipt of these revenues does not match with the timing of government’s obligatory payments. To finance the difference between the expenditure and the revenue (i.e. deficit) the Government borrows by issuing securities. The Government also issues T-bills in order to develop the domestic money market as they provide additional investment avenues for both institutional and individual investors.

The auction and the auction process

Treasury Bills auctions are announced in a week in advance and bidding is open until 11:00 Hrs, Wednesdays. Bids may be submitted directly to the Central Bank’s Domestic Debt Unit or through Primary Dealers.

Treasury securities auctions are open to all bidders, including commercial banks, non- banking financial institutions, and stockbrokers, corporate and individual investors. Authorized Primary Dealers may also submit bids on behalf of their customers. These Primary Dealers may bid competitively for their own account and clients and may also submit non-competitive bids on behalf of their clients. Individuals bidding non-competitively.

Auction results

The announcement auction results are announced publicly on the Bank’s website and through electronic media.
Successful bidders are notified by phone, fax or email normally by 15:00 hrs on the day of the auction. The auction results include:

  • The total amount of bids received;
  • The total amount of accepted bids; and
  • The lowest and average discount rate of accepted bids.