ECONOMY

Greece considering new bond issue next month, sources tell Reuters

greece-considering-new-bond-issue-next-month-sources-tell-reuters

Greece may attempt a second bond sale next month, its second since it emerged from an international bailout program last August, sources close to the matter said on Tuesday.

Athens aims to raise 5 billion to 7 billion euros from bond markets this year to finance part of its debt needs, according to its first annual borrowing programme since a debt crisis in 2010.

"If market conditions are favorable, we might issue a new bond, probably next month," a government official told Reuters, declining to be named. "We haven't decided yet on the maturity. The amount will be similar to the five-year bond."

A banker with knowledge of the matter confirmed the plan.

Greece raised 2.5 billion euros ($2.84 billion) from a five-year bond in January at a yield of 3.6 percent, drawing strong demand. Since then, the yield has fallen more than half a point, trading at 2.98 percent on Tuesday.

Athens wants to return to bond markets as a regular borrower after being financially supported by its creditors for nearly 10 years.

It has built a cash buffer of more than 27 billion euros with money raised from markets and unused bailout loans, enough to repay about 12 billion euros in loans falling due this year and stay afloat up to 2021

Greece is rated B3 by Moody's, BB- by Fitch and B+ by S&P. [Reuters]