Agence France Tresor is tasked with handling public debt and treasury management. It was created by a Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Foreign Trade order on 8 February 2001.
There are three categories of standardized government securities: OATs, BTANs and BTFs. These securities, whose nominal value is EUR 1, are distinguished by their maturity on issue.
Obligations assimilables du Tresor (OATs, or fungible Treasury bonds) are the government's long-term debt instruments with maturities from seven to fifty years. Most OATs are fixed-rate bonds redeemable on maturity. However, the Treasury also issues floating-rate bonds (TEC 10 OATs pegged to the constant 10-year maturity rate) and inflation-indexed bonds (OATi, OAT€i). OATs are auctioned on the first Thursday of each month.
Bons du Trésor à intérêts annuels (BTANs or negotiable fixed-rate medium-term Treasury notes with annual interest) represent medium-term government debt. On issue, their maturity is either two or five years.
Bons du Trésor à taux fixe et à intérêts précomptés (BTFs or negotiable fixed-rate discount Treasury bills) are the government's cash management instrument. They are used to cover short-term fluctuations in the government's cash position (less than one year), mainly due to differences in the pace with which revenues are collected and expenses are paid and in the debt amortization schedule. On issue, BTFs have a maturity of less than one year.
As of Q1 2013 total amount outstanding is EUR 1373 billion.