Greece raises €1.3 billion amid bond speculation

Wednesday 09 April 2014 08.13
There is strong speculation that Greece will tap markets with a five-year bond sale later this week
There is strong speculation that Greece will tap markets with a five-year bond sale later this week

Greece yesterday raised €1.3 billion with a sale of six-month treasury bills, and looked set to return soon to borrowing for longer periods after being frozen out for four years.

"Total bids reached €3.103 billion and the amount finally accepted was €1.3 billion," the Greek debt agency said in a statement.

The interest rate fell to 3.01% from 3.6% in an equivalent sale in March, the agency said.

There is strong speculation that Athens will later this week tap markets with a five-year bond sale, timed around a scheduled visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday.

Athens has said it intends to raise €1.5-2 billion in such an auction. 

However, the Greek finance minister Yannis Stournaras on Monday insisted there was "no hurry" and that the sale would take place by June.

"There is no hurry. Besides we do not need the money," Stournaras said. "We are doing this as a test, to smooth the interest rate curve," he said.

Greek borrowing rates have dipped to the lowest point since the country nearly went bankrupt in 2010 and had to be rescued by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund with two multi-billion-euro bailouts.

Greek 10-year bonds are now trading at a yield of just over 6%.