Greece sells 812 mln euros of T-bills, yield eases

Greece sold 812.5 million euros ($1.06 billion) of six-month T-bills on Tuesday to fund the rollover of a one billion euro issue that matures later this week at a slightly lower yield than at a previous auction in January.

Monthly T-bill sales are Greece’s sole source of market funding. Greek banks traditionally buy the bulk of the T-bill issues, meaning funding costs do not fully reflect market strains.

Athens needs continued funding from its international lenders to redeem 14.5 billion euros of bonds on March 20 and risks default if there is no agreement with its euro zone partners and the International Monetary Fund on the terms of a second, 130-billion-euro bailout plan.

Greece is also under pressure to conclude a bond swap deal with private bondholders that will make its debt more manageable.

At Tuesday’s auction, T-bills were priced to yield 4.86 percent versus 4.90 percent in a previous sale on Jan. 10. The bid-cover ratio was 2.72, down from 2.80 in January. The sale included 187.5 million euros in non-competitive bids.

The settlement date for Tuesday’s T-bill sale will be Feb. 10, debt agency PDMA said. More non-competitive bids of up to 187.5 million euros may be submitted by Feb 9, which would bring total proceeds from the sale to one billion euros.