Gov’t to auction 1 bln euros of 3-month T-bills on March 11

Greece will auction 1 billion euros of three-month treasury bills on March 11 to refinance a maturing issue, debt agency PDMA said on Friday, announcing its second sale this month as the government faces a cash crunch.

Shut out of debt markets and with aid from its official creditors frozen, Athens is scrambling to meet this month’s funding needs, which include maturing treasury paper and a 1.5 billion-euro loan payment to the International Monetary Fund.

Issuing T-bills is the only source of commercial borrowing for the left-right coalition government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. The country’s EU/IMF creditors have set a 15 billion-euro cap on such issues which has already been reached.

The European Central Bank made clear on Thursday it would not raise the limit on Greece’s issuance of short-term debt to help it avert a funding crunch, since EU treaty barred monetary financing of governments.

The settlement date of the new T-bills will be March 13, when a previous 1.6 billion-euro issue of three-month paper matures. Only primary dealers will be allowed to participate and no commission is to be paid.

A previous sale of 3-month T-bills in February was priced to yield at 2.50 percent.

Earlier this week Athens sold six-month paper, successfully rolling over a maturing issue but at the highest yield in 11 months.