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Fixed-rate discount Treasury bills (BTFs) are similar to short-term Treasury bonds. They have an initial maturity of less than or equal to one year.

Market Overview
The maturity of BTFs is expressed in weeks. The most frequently issued maturities are 13, 26 and 52 weeks. Bills with maturities of 20-24 weeks can be issued as half-year bills and bills with maturities of 48-52 weeks can be issued as one-year bills.

They have a par value of €1. BTFs are issued every week by auction as part of AFT’s quarterly schedule published in advance. This schedule provides details of the maturities of the bills that will be auctioned during the quarter. Some BTFs, including those with shorter than standard maturities, may be issued independently of the published schedule depending on the government’s cash requirements. A quarterly BTF is generally issued every week, as are a half-yearly BTF and a one-year BTF.

To reconcile new with existing issuances, the maturity of new bills issued is based on the maturity of existing bills. In 2015, the BTF market boasted 25-30 different permanent issuances.

The market is informed every Friday at 11am of the BTFs that will be auctioned the following Monday. To ensure that there is sufficient flexibility to meet market demand, AFT announces the amounts that will be auctioned, including the range for each issuance to be auctioned. Bids of at least one million euros are expressed at a yield-to-maturity to three decimal places (from 0.5 cents to 0.5 cents) and in the exact number of days out of 360 (ACT/360). BTFs have pre-calculated annual coupons applied to the par value of the bond and calculated on the basis of a prorata discount rate paid when the bond is issued and subtracted from the purchase price. There is therefore no related coupon payment.
Since Monday 6 October 2014, settlement of BTF auctions has been at T+2 to bring primary market settlement dates into line with secondary market settlement dates.

The purchases of a BTF on the secondary market are governed by the same rules that govern primary market purchases. Trades occur on the basis of a yield-to-maturity to three decimal places (from 0.5 cents to 0.5 cents) and in the exact number of days out of 360 (ACT/360). Since 2 April 2012, the settlement date for BTFs on the secondary market has been T+2 compared to T+1 previously