Greece to launch bond issue soon
LONDON: Greece will launch a multi-billion euro bond issue next week, the Financial Times reported Saturday, in the wake of Thursday’s deal to help the country out of its debt crisis.
Petros Christodoulou, the head of Greece’s public debt management agency, told the paper Athens wanted to borrow some five billion euros (6.7 billion dollars) from the bond markets. “We would like to return to the market within March,” he added.
Greece is likely to issue either a three or seven-year bond this month, followed by another similar-sized issue in April in what will be a crucial test of confidence, the FT said.
A deal was brokered Thursday under which the 16-nation eurozone agreed to offer Greece loans in combination with the International Monetary Fund. The deal came at a crucial time for Athens, which has to ensure funding by May to repay debt of 20 billion euros (27 billion dollars).
“We believe we will not need to use it,” Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said afterwards, adding: “Greece has regained credibility. Its banking sector is not threatened and the money is there safely.” Meanwhile, the borrowing rate at which Greece can raise money on debt markets fell on Friday.
The yield on Greek 10-year bonds — the interest rate which Greece has to pay to borrow money — eased to 6.193 percent late Friday in a sign of investor confidence. The rate had gone up to almost seven percent earlier this year as investors worried about a possible default.
Lingering concerns remain among investors over how the financial rescue will work in practice and over the role of the International Monetary Fund, as well as over the fiscal problems that the Greek debt drama exposed. European stock markets fell Friday in a cautious reaction to the EU’s rescue plan for Greece.