A History of Australian Corporate Bonds

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Abstract

We compile a new unit-record data set of Australian corporate bond issuance, which sheds light on developments in the bond market since the early twentieth century. Reflecting the evolution of the economy, privatisations, and changes in the regulatory landscape the following trends are noteworthy: (i) issuance today is largely by private entities whereas government-owned corporations dominated historically; (ii) the issuer base has shifted away from non-financial corporations towards banks, with corporations now raising a large share of funds offshore; and (iii) the investor base has shifted away from direct holdings by households towards holdings through superannuation/managed funds and holdings by non-residents.

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