BUSINESS

New market foray is likely in April unless tranche is delayed

ELEFTHERIA KOURTALI

A possible date for an issue would be right after the April 26 report by Standard & Poor’s, though that points to early May due to Greek Easter.

TAGS: Markets, Finance

April appears to represent a window of opportunity for the Public Debt Management Agency to make its next market foray. That will depend on developments over the prior actions for the disbursement of the 1 billion euros at Friday’s Eurogroup as well as the international environment.

Although January’s five-year bond and the 10-year bond issued in March mean the PDMA has already covered 71 percent of its borrowing program for 2019, the aim is to render Greece a regular issuer. Therefore the plan for the near future is either to reopen existing issues or launch a new note to draw some 2 billion euros.

Market sources say April is expected to be another “hot” month for the bond markets, and the sovereign notes of the eurozone periphery are in an advantageous position as conditions are very positive and there is demand for longer-maturity bonds. They add that they expect issuing activity from Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Spain as well as Greece. After a recent visit by its officials to Athens and meetings with PDMA representatives, HSBC reported that Greece is planning to tap the markets again.

Bank sources tell Kathimerini that the first half of April would be a “good time” for the PDMA to make a move, before the Western Easter; however, that would require that there be no fresh obstacles to the tranche by the Eurogroup, as that would be a market negative. Another possible date would be right after the rating assessment by Standard & Poor’s on April 26, though that points to early May due to the Greek Easter on April 28.

There are two alternative scenarios: one for a new three-year bond at a rate near 2 percent, and another for the reopening of an existing long-term bond – i.e. January’s five-year note or last year’s seven-year paper.

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