Scotland will issue first ever bond, leader Yousaf says

LONDON (Reuters) -Scotland will raise money on international bond markets for the first time, the leader of its devolved government Humza Yousaf said on Tuesday, a move he said would help demonstrate the country’s credibility as his party seeks independence.

“I can confirm that by the end of this parliament the SNP government will – subject of course to due diligence and appropriate market testing – we will go directly to the international bond market for the first time in our own right,” Yousaf said in a speech to his Scottish National Party’s (SNP) conference.

“We will issue Scotland’s first ever bond… We will also demonstrate the credibility to international markets that we will need when we become an independent country.”

Yousaf said the money would be used to fund infrastructure projects aligned with his government’s priorities on improving public services, building a green economy and ensuring equality of opportunity.

The current Scottish parliament runs until May 2026. Yousaf did not set out how much the government intended to raise.

The Scottish government said such issuance was permitted under 2016 legislation which devolved additional powers to Scotland.

Under revised a fiscal framework Scotland’s capital borrowing limits would rise with inflation from current levels of 450 million pounds ($548.24 million) per annum and 3 billion pounds cumulatively.

($1 = 0.8208 pounds)

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by William James, Michael Holden and Andy Bruce)