First ever dual market foray ‘a success’

First ever dual market foray ‘a success’

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras has hailed Greece’s first ever dual market foray as particularly successful, as the country raised 2.5 billion euros on Wednesday by reopening two bond issues, its recent five-year and 30-year notes, on record low interest rates.

“Greece proceeded for the first time to a simultaneous issue of two bonds… and did it with particular success as both issues attracted remarkably high demand, were of exceptional quality and registered historically low yields,” the minister said.

The five-year issue, maturing on February 12, 2026, expanded by €1.5 billion on approximately zero interest, according to data from the country’s Public Debt Management Agency.

“The issue of the five-year bond was at almost zero interest, which constitutes a new historic low regardless of duration,” Staikouras commented.

At the same time the 30-year bond, to mature on January 24, 2052, raised another €1 billion at an interest rate of 1.67%.

This takes the sum of the resources Greece has so far drawn from the bond markets this year to €14 billion, through five forays.

Demand amounted to almost €19 billion in total and was high enough to bring down the yields of the debt issued from the original guidance.

The five-year paper, originally issued in May 2021, attracted bids adding up to more than €9.3 billion, while the 30-year note, first issued in March 2021, wooed over €9.6 billion, according to a bourse filing. The government had commissioned the services of Alpha Bank, Barclays, Citi, Commerzbank and Morgan Stanley as book builders.

“The increased demand for Greek bonds – from a wide range of institutional investors too – gave Greece the chance to improve the liquidity of its yield curve at two more points, while drawing funds on especially favorable terms,” Staikouras pointed out.

Alternate Finance Minister Theodoros Skylakakis told state broadcaster ERT on Wednesday that part of the resources raised from the bond market will be used for buying back previously issued debt that has higher servicing costs.

Greece maintains a cash buffer of about €36 billion that it constantly renews. It has used some of it to fund measures combating the economic effect of the pandemic. “Despite rising difficulties, we have managed to keep the country’s cash resources at a safe level,” Staikouras said.

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