Debt Portfolio Optimization at the Swedish National Debt Office: : A Monte Carlo Simulation Model

University essay from KTH/Matematisk statistik

Abstract: It can be difficult for a sovereign debt manager to see the implications on expected costs and risk of a specific debt management strategy, a simulation model can therefore be a valuable tool. This study investigates how future economic data such as yield curves, foreign exchange rates and CPI can be simulated and how a portfolio optimization model can be used for a sovereign debt office that mainly uses financial derivatives to alter its strategy. The programming language R is used to develop a bespoke software for the Swedish National Debt Office, however, the method that is used can be useful for any debt manager. The model performs well when calculating risk implications of different strategies but debt managers that use this software to find optimal strategies must understand the model's limitations in calculating expected costs. The part of the code that simulates economic data is developed as a separate module and can thus be used for other studies, key parts of the code are available in the appendix of this paper. Foreign currency exposure is the factor that had the largest effect on both expected cost and risk, moreover, the model does not find any cost advantage of issuing inflation-protected debt. The opinions expressed in this thesis are the sole responsibility of the author and should not be interpreted as reflecting the views of the Swedish National Debt Office.

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