ECONOMY

Greece rolls over three-month T-bills, yield steady

Greece sold 1.3 billion euros ($1.38 billion) of three-month Treasury bills on Wednesday, covering the amount it sought to raise to refinance a maturing issue in its third successful auction this month amid a cash crunch.

The paper was priced to yield 2.70 percent, unchanged from a previous sale on March 11, the country’s debt agency PDMA said.

The sale’s bid-cover ratio was 1.30, the same as in the previous auction, showing no deterioration in demand despite tight liquidity conditions.

The amount raised included 300 million euros in non-competitive bids. The settlement date for Wednesday’s auction will be March 20.

Issuing short-term T-bills is the only source of commercial borrowing for the leftist 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 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 the demand has been turned down.

Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will raise the issue of liquidity at his meetings with top European Union leaders at the margins of this week’s summit in Brussels, the government’s spokesman said on Wednesday.

The European Central Bank has refused to raise the limit on Greece’s issuance of short-term debt, saying that it would be tantamount to central bank financing of governments.

[Reuters]