Publication: South Asian Bond Markets : Developing Long-Term Finance for Growth

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Sophastienphong, Kiatchai
Mu, Yibin
Saporito, Carlotta
Bond markets play an essential part in economies. As part of a diversified financial system, a well-developed domestic bond market can help provide the long-term financing needed for sustainable growth. It can also produce broad-ranging benefits throughout the economy. In South Asia the development of domestic debt securities markets lags. The markets remain small compared both with the size of the region's economies and with markets in East Asia. Even in India the market is still small relative to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), suggesting that long-term debt financing remains at an early stage in the region. Equity markets and banks still dominate South Asian financial systems. Measures are needed to enhance both the depth and the breadth of South Asian bond markets, to bring them into line with those in East Asia and, in the long run, with those in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. This study assesses domestic debt securities markets in South Asia, identifies constraints to their development, and recommends measures for developing deeper, broader, and more efficient markets that can provide a competitive source of finance across a wide range of maturities for different debt issuers. The study covers five countries-Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Within the region the development of domestic debt securities markets varies widely. India's is the most developed. Its experience, along with those of East Asian economies, suggests that much potential remains for developing South Asian bond markets and expanding their contribution to growth and development. Greater regional integration of South Asian bond markets could add to the benefits.
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Sophastienphong, Kiatchai; Mu, Yibin; Saporito, Carlotta. 2008. South Asian Bond Markets : Developing Long-Term Finance for Growth. © Washington, DC : World Bank. License: Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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