Finance ministry sources deny reports on bond delay

Finance ministry sources deny reports on bond delay

Greek Finance Ministry sources denied on Wednesday reports claiming it had decided to delay by a few months its plan to issue a newn 10-year bond due to increased political risk in Italy, saying it had not even decided on such an issuance.

Reuters reported on earlier that Athens was keen on a new bond issue, most likely its first 10-year paper after a decade, this summer and preferably before its current bailout ends in August, to establish continuity in the bond markets.

It also reported that officials told the news agency the plan might have to wait until the autumn, when Greece hopes to have also secured further debt relief from its official lenders.

"In order to decide to postpone [the issuance], there has to be a decision to issue. Such decision has never existed," ministry sources said.

The Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) has the general mandate to conduct test forays into the markets since last summer and has already done so, the same sources said, adding that the decision to issue bonds is made "with technocratic criteria by the PDMA which has the necessary experience and know-how to choose the right time."

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