Greece sold 1.138 billion euros ($1.27 billion) of six-month Treasury bills on Wednesday, covering the amount it wanted to refinance a maturing issue, in a sale that tested the country's ability to raise funds amid a cash crunch.
But for Athens the funds came at a higher cost. The T-bills were priced to yield 2.97 percent, up 22 basis points from 2.75 percent in a previous sale in February, the country's debt agency PDMA said.
The sale's bid-cover ratio was 1.30, unchanged from the previous sale in February and showing no deterioration in demand despite tight liquidity conditions.
The amount raised included 262.5 million euros in non-competitive bids. The settlement date for Wednesday's auction will be March 6.
Issuing T-bills is the only source of commercial borrowing for the leftist government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras but the country's EU/IMF creditors have set a 15 billion euro cap on such issues, which has already been hit.
Athens has asked for the ceiling on outstanding T-bills to be raised as foreign investors have increasingly fled its sales in recent months but euro zone partners have refused to do on on fears that it would be tantamount to central bank financing of governments. [Reuters]