Next foray into money markets put off till 2019


The Finance Ministry is planning to draw just 7 to 8 billion euros from international money markets through the issue of new bonds next year. This is because it intends to dip into the cash buffer for 2 billion euros in 2019 and 2.4 billion in 2020 in order to service the national debt.

This illustrates that the ministry is in no hurry to test the dangerous waters of the markets before Greek bond yields drop to lower levels.

Kathimerini understands that the ministry still wants to issue a new 10-year bond to crown its efforts toward a return to normality. However, the unrest generated by Italy and Athens’s decision to push for the non-implementation of pension cuts in January would make it very risky for Greece to attempt to tap the markets before 2019.

The ministry’s strategy is based on the idea that the country’s cash disposables and buffer (33 billion euros) secured through the June 2018 Eurogroup decision will suffice to allow an abstention from the turbulent markets. Therefore plans are being made for 2019, unless an opportunity arises in the meantime.

The ministry shouldn’t wait for too long though: Bond market technocrats note that each year’s bond issue timetables are front-heavy, and in this sense the ministry is drafting its own to cover its needs for 2019. Minister Euclid Tsakalotos has said he will announce the timetable at the end of this year.