Public Debt Portfolio Review


By Tiviniton Makuve
Despite deep changes in the level, composition, and structure of public debt portfolios in the region, debt strategy formulation and portfolio review practices have largely remained ad hoc. This is a natural consequence of weak legislative frameworks which neither make strategy formulation mandatory nor establish the necessary institutional arrangements for conduct of such debt management activities. National laws imposing periodic debt portfolio reviews are a way to increase government’s commitment to effective debt management. This research paper, among other things, calls countries in the region to make debt strategy design and portfolio review practices mandatory and a directive of the law. Such laws would also establish the necessary institutional framework with clear mandates, terms of reference and reporting responsibilities of each institution.

The other important issue that emerged from this research pertains to similar characteristics exhibited by countries’ debt portfolios. There is scope for developing a standard format for reviewing public debt portfolios of the region. A standardized format enhances the analytical usefulness and reliability of reviews by allowing comparisons across countries to be undertaken on a clear and consistent basis.