by Israel InSight
On Feb. 3, Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague announced the purchase of $35 million in five-year fixed rate Israel Bonds.
“Over the past three decades, Israel Bonds have proven to be a strong financial investment for Ohio’s taxpayers,” said Sprague. “The highly competitive interest rates of these bonds make them a valuable investment and we’re proud to be continuing this practice in 2020.”
According to Sprague’s office, the bonds will mature in 2025, and $28 million of the purchase will yield 2.28 percent while the remaining $7 million will yield 2.43 percent.
Since 1993, every Ohio Treasurer has invested in Israel Bonds, joining more than 95 other state and municipal public employee pension and treasury funds.
After the purchase, the Ohio Treasury will hold a total of $175 million in Israel Bonds, continuing Ohio’s standing as the largest state holder of these bonds in the United States.
The total is still down from the $200 million Ohio held following a $52.8 million purchase in February 2018 by former treasurer Josh Mandel. The April 2017 purchase of $61 million in Israel Bonds remains a record.
In March 2019, in his first purchase after he took office just weeks earlier, Sprague announced the state would invest in $10 million in Israel Bonds.
A 2016 bill, which he sponsored while a legislator, allowed the state to have up to 2 percent of its portfolio in foreign debt instruments, up from the previous 1 percent.
Israel has maintained a perfect record of interest and principal payments since Israel Bonds was established in 1951. At the end of October, sales for 2019 had reached $1 billion, the seventh year in a row where Israel Bonds sales in the U.S. exceeded $1 billion.