Greece has raised €1.3 billion in a treasury bill auction held after the country's bailout lenders approved the payment of a new batch of rescue loans.

The Public Debt Management Agency said the 13-week loans were auctioned today at an interest rate of 4.02%, roughly unchanged from a T-bill sale last month.

Euro zone finance ministers in Brussels last night approved the next batch of €7.5 billion in loans to Greece, citing progress in the country's deficit cutting programme.

Greece, weighed down by massive debts, lost access to bond markets in 2010. The government hopes to have the country return to bond markets in the first six months of 2014, as the economy emerges from a crippling recession.