Tuesday September 2, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
29o C
23o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Greece’s bond sale tops 3 billion euros as nation ends market exile

Greece ended a four-year exile from international markets with a bond sale of 3 billion euros ($4.2 billion), more than the government estimated.

The coupon on the bond, which will be settled next week, is 4.75 percent, with almost 90 percent of the issue going to long- term investors outside Greece, the Athens-based Finance Ministry said in an e-mailed statement announcing the sale. The order book for the issue exceeded 20 billion euros, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because he isn’t authorized to speak about it. A Greek government official told reporters in Athens Wednesday that the country sought to raise 2.5 billion euros.

“Greece returns to the bond markets under the same or even better terms than Ireland and Portugal,” Greek Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos told reporters in Athens earlier Thursday after meeting with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

Greece, which has been bailed out twice, carried out the world’s biggest sovereign-debt restructuring and teetered on the brink of exiting the euro, had been shut out of bond markets since March 2010 and kept afloat with aid totaling 240 billion euros from the euro area and the International Monetary Fund.

Those funds necessitated the regular presence in Athens of officials from the so-called troika of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF, which became associated with austerity measures that triggered a political and social backlash.

“We welcome this,” Poul Thomsen, the IMF’s mission chief to Greece, said Wednesday. “It’s a fundamental objective of the program to bring Greece back to market and this is an important milestone in this regard, and that clearly speaks to the success of the program.”

The return bookends a period in which Ireland and Portugal both followed Greece in seeking bailouts after being shut out of markets, with both those countries having resumed selling bonds by January 2013. In Cyprus, the fifth euro-area country to seek a bailout after Spain also got assistance for its banks in 2012, Finance Minister Haris Georgiades said this week that the country was targeting a return to markets in the second half of next year.

The yield on Greek 10-year bonds climbed five basis points, or 0.05 percentage point, to 5.94 percent at 2:24 p.m. Athens time. The rate fell 27 basis points Wednesday, and touched 5.80 percent, the least since February 2010.

Greek securities returned 33 percent in the year through Wednesday, the most among sovereign-debt markets tracked by the Bloomberg World Bond Indexes.

“I think they will come to markets again at least two times more this year,” said Michael Michaelides, a rates strategist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in London, who has raised his forecast for how much Greece will raise from markets this year to 8 billion euros from 5 billion euros. “This massively helps Greece in negotiations with the troika.”

Blast

A car bomb exploded outside one of the Bank of Greece’s offices in central Athens this morning as a reminder of the upheaval that continues to rock the country almost four years after it resorted to calling for outside aid. Police said no one was injured in the bombing.

Protests, strikes and even bombings have been regular occurrences in Greece since then. Thursday's device exploded at about 6 a.m. outside a building belonging to the Bank of Greece, causing some damage to surrounding buildings, a police spokeswoman said by phone.

Greece won approval this month from euro-area members for an 8.3 billion-euro aid payment, the first disbursement from its bailout program since December. The government and European Union predict that the Greek economy will expand 0.6 percent in 2014 after six consecutive years of contraction that has cost about a quarter of the nation’s economic output and sent the unemployment rate surging.

“The real economy is showing encouraging signs of recovery,” Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said at a conference in Athens Thursday.

Greece’s unemployment rate dropped to 26.7 percent in January from 27.2 percent in the previous month, according to data Thursday from the Athens-based Hellenic Statistical Authority.

The country still faces challenges including deflation. Consumer prices calculated using a harmonized EU method dropped 1.5 percent in March from a year earlier, the 13th straight decline. Non-performing loans ballooned to 31.7 percent of total lending at the end of 2013, according to data provided by the Bank of Greece. [Bloomberg]

ekathimerini.com , Thursday April 10, 2014 (15:04)  
Education minister calls for probe into predecessor´s reform plan
Anti-racism bill goes back to Parliament
Athens condemns Erdogan comments about Cyprus
Government tries to lower hopes ahead of Paris talks
Tourism targets rise ever higher
The latest data have allowed the Hellenic Association of Tourism Enterprises (SETE) to raise its target for tourism arrivals and revenues this year higher still. During a meeting with main o...
Horse race betting hurdle removed for OPAP
The new tender for the concession of the right to organize and operate wagering on horse races in Greece for the next 20 years will include a number of changes in its terms, despite assuranc...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Greek hoopsters go top of their group in World Cup
Greece has qualified to the second round of the FIBA World Cup after going top of its group of six through a third win in as many group games in Spain. On Monday it beat Puerto Rico 90-79 in...
SOCCER
Fulham striker Mitroglou set to re-join Olympiakos
Greek champions Olympiakos Piraeus are set to re-sign Kostas Mitroglou on loan from English second tier club Fulham after the striker arrived in Athens for talks on Sunday. An Olympiakos spo...
Inside Sports
ANALYSIS
EU’s three big problems all linked
The outgoing president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, said at the weekend that his successor, Donald Tusk, currently Poland’s prime minister, faces three big challenges: the sta...
COMMENTARY
A great president
I fully understand the country’s need for political stability, a necessity which makes the election of a president by the current Parliament absolutely imperative. At the same time, however,...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Greek hoopsters go top of their group in World Cup
2. Tourism targets rise ever higher
3. Horse race betting hurdle removed for OPAP
4. Revised GDP data confirm that Greek growth is near
5. Measures to reduce unemployment
6. Peachy export data despite Russian embargo
more news
Today
This Week
1. Excavation work at Amphipolis reveals section of marble mosaic floor
2. A great president
3. Erdogan visits Turkish-occupied Cyprus
4. Greek economy shrinks at slowest pace since late 2008
5. Don’t feed the zombies
6. Greek officials meet to fine tune strategy for Paris talks with troika
Today
This Week
1. Thessaloniki mayor Boutaris sworn in wearing yellow star amid Golden Dawn protests
2. The battle against progress
3. Attack on gay couple in Athens leaves one man needing surgery
4. Strong undersea quake occurs off island of Milos, felt in Athens
5. Greek quest for debt relief faces hurdles in Paris
6. Hardouvelis, ECB executive discuss bank program, stress tests
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.