Greece eyes bond issues up to 7 bln euros in 2019

Greece eyes bond issues up to 7 bln euros in 2019

Greece intends to tap the global money markets for 3 to 7 billion euros next year, according to the Financing Strategy for 2019 published on Monday by the country’s Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA).

The plan also refers to the so-called cash buffer, which stood at 26.5 billion euros in September 2018; this is to be used as a safety cushion in case market conditions do not favor the country’s financing.

It further states that the stock of treasury bills will remain at approximately 15 billion euros through the rollovers scheduled for next year.

The agency’s 2019 financing plan offers significant flexibility as it contains three scenarios, depending on the cash reserves to be utilized next year and the amount obtained from state asset utilization.

The first scenario – which the PDMA appears not to favor as it states its preference for the other two – provides for drawing 3 billion euros from the markets, along with the use of 5 billion from the cash buffer and zero receipts from privatizations.

The second includes raising 5 billion euros through bond issues, the reduction of the T-bill stock by 800 million euros, using 2.4 billion euros of the cash reserves, and the collection of 1.4 billion euros from state asset utilization.

The last scenario anticipates the sale of 7 billion euros’ worth of bonds, decreasing the T-bill sum by 1.5 billion euros, using 1.1 billion euros in cash reserves and collecting 1.4 billion euros from privatizations.

Greece was shut out of international markets in 2010 and entered three bailout programs to ease its return to global market credit.

Its latest bond issue was a seven-year note in February 2018, worth 3 billion euros at a yield of 3.50 percent. The secondary-market interest rate of the country’s benchmark 10-year bond stood at 4.39 percent over Christmas. [Xinhua]

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