Greece's debt agency today said it had begun a process for the country's first bond issue - a five-year sale - since exiting the last bailout. 

The agency said the bond, carrying an April 2024 maturity, would be offered to investors "in the near future".

Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs International Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Societe Generale have been named as managers of the sale. 

In its last bond issue in February 2018, Greece raised €3 billion at 3.5% via a seven-year bond. 

Offers at the time stood at around €6.5 billion. 

The previous five-year bond sale, in July 2017, raised €3 billion at 4.625%. 

Greece currently has no urgent need to draw money from the bond markets as it has built a cash cushion of at least €15 billion. 

"Our financing needs are fully covered to 2020," Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told parliament earlier this month. 

But it acts as a psychological milestone, designed to show that the country is on the road to recovery after emerging from its third international debt bailout in August. 

In a statement concluding its first post-bailout monitoring mission on Friday, the International Monetary Fund pegged Greek growth this year at 2.4%. 

The Greek budget forecasts 2.5% growth, better than the expected euro zone average. 

The Greek public debt in 2018 climbed to €335 billion, or 180.4%, of GDP. It is forecast to fall to 167.8% in 2019.