NETHERLANDS - The Dutch Finance Ministry has confirmed it will soon issue new 30-year bonds because of strong demand from investors from all over Europe.

It will remain active in this segment during the coming years, it says.

The new 30-year benchmark will be launched during a Dutch Direct Auction, probably in April. According to the Finance Agency, which is responsible for the state’s transaction on the capital market, the benchmark will be reopened until a volume of at least €10bn has been reached. Until then a repo facility will be available to primary dealers.

It had surveyed 150 investors and found strong interest for new long-dated assets, the agency says. It forecasts a great demand from all categories of investors.

The inquiry – carried out by the commercial banks ABN Amro, Fortis and CSFB who advise the agency about the DDA – also shows a long-term interest in long-dated assets.

The issue date of the new 30-year benchmark will depend on the market, says the Finance Agency. It will push the issue of the 10-year bonds further into the future by a couple of months. Initially the issue of the long-dated assets was planned for 2006. The Dutch state last issued 30-year bonds in 1998.