European Union and IMF auditors have positively reviewed Portugal's progress under its May debt rescue package, clearing the way for another aid payment, the country’s government has said.
"The second quarterly review of the economic and financial assistance programme for Portugal closed successfully today," Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar said, with €8.0 billion now due under the terms of the €78-billion bailout.
Earlier, Portugal paid lower or unchanged rates to raise €1.12 billion in short-term funds.
The Portuguese debt management agency said it sold €773m in 3-month Treasury bills at a yield or rate of return of 4.895%, down from 4.997% at the last similar sale on November 2. It also sold €350m in six-month bills at 5.25%, unchanged from an October 19 auction.
The government, desperately trying to balance the public finances even as the economy shrinks badly, had been seeking to raise up to €1.25 billion at the sale.
Analysts said the sale was unremarkable but still showed that Portugal had to pay high rates to investors in order to raise fresh finance, reflecting concerns over the country's and the euro zone's overall outlook.
The fund raising was achieved despite tensions on euro zone bond markets, with rates for Italy and Spain jumping to dangerously high levels, while other member states - with the notable exemption of bloc powerhouse Germany - all having to pay more to get fresh finance.