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Typical goals pursued by a sovereign debt manager are well summarized by what stated in the guidelines published in 2014 by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank: “The main objective of public debt management is to ensure that the government’s financing needs and its payment obligations are met at the lowest possible cost over the medium to long run, consistent with a prudent degree of risk … Minimising cost, while ignoring risk, should not be an objective. Transactions that appear to lower debt servicing costs often embody significant risks for the government and can limit the government’s capacity to repay creditors. Managing cost and risk therefore involves a trade-off.” 

Public debt management policies are the guidelines and procedures that guide the debt issuance practices of central and local governments in order to achieve their goals, including the issuance process, risk management of a debt portfolio, and adherence to internal and international regulations, with the overarching objective of ensuring that payment obligations are always met, at the lowest cost compatible with the containment of the risk over the long-term horizon inherent to public debt.