Tuesday September 30, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
26o C
17o 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)  
Would-be commissioner Avramopoulos sets out priorities on migration
Money ring sent 4.5 mln abroad
Troika talks begin amid coalition tensions
Halandri Roma shacks to be demolished
Remarkable growth in Athens tourism
The 390,000 additional hotel stays chalked up in Athens in the first eight months of the year compared to 2013 can be put down to the jump in tourism arrivals in the Greek capital and transl...
Political clouds over Greece deter bond investors
Investors’ love affair with low-rated but high-yielding eurozone bonds is starting to wane, as political risks dent faith that the European Central Bank alone will be able to ensure the bloc...
Inside Business
SOCCER
All team sports suspended next weekend in memory of dead fan
The government announced on Monday the suspension of all team sports events in Greece scheduled for next weekend, October 4 and 5, in the memory of the Ethnikos Piraeus fan who died a few ho...
SOCCER
Karamanos punishes Michel for deeming him surplus
Atromitos forced Olympiakos’s first loss this season in all competitions on Saturday to allow PAOK to go alone on top of the Super League table on Sunday. Odds-on title favorite Olympiakos l...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Next-day jitters
It is usual for Greek governments, whether one-party or coalitions (which are normally loath to actually work together), to claim that their only real challenge is dealing with the country’s...
EDITORIAL
No sweet debt deals
The lion’s share of Greece’s debt is held by European Union member states and the International Monetary Fund. A writedown of the European part of the debt would require the approval of the ...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Remarkable growth in Athens tourism
2. Would-be commissioner Avramopoulos sets out priorities on migration
3. Money ring sent 4.5 mln abroad
4. Troika talks begin amid coalition tensions
5. Halandri Roma shacks to be demolished
6. Political clouds over Greece deter bond investors
more news
Today
This Week
1. Next-day jitters
2. Roma camp off Mesogeion Avenue set for demolition amid reactions
3. No sweet debt deals
4. Commissioner-designate Avramopoulos to face three-hour interview on EU's migration portfolio
5. Greek unemployment dips to 27 pct in June, but still highest in EU
6. Roma camp evacuation postponed; flow resumes on Mesogeion Avenue
Today
This Week
1. Alexander the Great's tomb not at Amphipolis, says Culture Minister
2. Greece may opt for unusual president to avoid snap polls, Venizelos says
3. Woman allegedly buried alive by accident in northern Greece
4. Salaries in Greece continue to slide, dipping 1.4 pct in Q2
5. Venizelos denies jihadis are being trained in Greece
6. Should you bet with Kissinger on where the world is heading?
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.