Benchmarking Bonds in the ASEAN+3: From LIBOR to Eternity?

The LIBOR will be discontinued and deemed “not representative” on June 30, 2023. Among the ASEAN+3, US dollar LIBOR is the most widely used benchmark among the region’s US dollar-denominated variable coupon bonds, and the evidence suggests strong reluctance among issuers to transition away. Over the past two years, 42 percent of US dollar-denominated variable coupon bonds in the region have continued to be indexed to LIBOR, while almost 39 percent of LIBOR-benchmarked bonds are slated to mature after June 30, 2023. This note considers the alternatives that have been used by regional bond issuers to index their floating rate bonds, and analyze the factors that make for an appropriate LIBOR replacement, to assess possible viable options for issuers going forward.

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