Canadians, as opposed to many nationals around the world, were long accustomed to hearing reports of budget surpluses. What was once a source of national pride will now seemingly become but memories in the nation's historical archives. The recent recession has left both the national and provincial coffers in ruinous debt, and both are seeking ways to grapple with the need for cash to finance stimulus spending, the primary catalyst of the monumental deficits.
Ironically, while lawmakers must deal with the aftermath of the financial crisis and re-formulate fiscal policies in order to keep the deficits under control, investment bankers see this new situation as a unique opportunity to sell government bonds.
Based on recent figures, the combined national/provincial debt is estimated to reach $100 billion by the end of the current fiscal year. However, selling public debt in these staggering amounts is not as difficult as it may seem, even in a struggling global economy. Canadian debt is being gobbled up by foreign investors at a lightning pace.
It appears that international markets see investment in Canada as a wise choice. Among the Group of Seven countries, Canada has the best fundamentals; a strong, vibrant currency; and is rich in valuable natural resources. Once the dust settles from the recession, these factors will leave Canada well positioned. Wise investors see this as an ideal time to align their investment dollars with strong future potential.
Investment bankers admit that 2009 presented a highly volatile market, with each month differing sharply from its predecessor. But, when all is said and done, the nation's top investment banks, working hand-in-hand with both the federal and provincial governments, have managed to sell the vast majority of government bonds issued, primarily in foreign markets.
The need for cash, combined with the demand for strong investments, led to some unique investment situations for both the federal and provincial governments. However, just as the aftermath of the recession demanded new ideas to deal with new situations, so did the investment world rise to the occasion and help the governments get the best deals possible.
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