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BUDAPEST: Hungary sold 529 billion forints ($1.87 billion) worth of a new high-yield retail savings bond in a week, the biggest weekly outflow ever recorded, Finance Minister Mihaly Varga said on Wednesday, according to state news agency MTI.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government offered the five-year savings bond for the domestic retail market this month as his government pursues efforts to cut its reliance on foreign investors.

Sales of the new debt last week increased the total stock of government debt held by retail investors to 8.06 trillion forints, MTI cited Varga as saying.

In total, Budapest aims to increase the retail stock of government debt to 11 trillion forints ($38.69 billion) by 2023, Varga has said.

The new bond carries an initial yield of 3.5 percent, gradually rising to 6 percent at maturity, offering a premium over all currently available retail bonds and over bank deposits. Interest will be exempt from capital gains tax.

Central bank Deputy Governor Marton Nagy has said that channelling more retail funds into government debt could help keep a lid on inflation after years of double-digit wage rises, which have boosted consumer spending.

Copyright Reuters, 2019

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