ECONOMY

Athens plans 10-year bond to capitalize on momentum

athens-plans-10-year-bond-to-capitalize-on-momentum

Greece is getting ready to tap the money markets for the second time within a few weeks, probably next Tuesday with a 10-year bond issue, on the back of a major drop in yields and an anticipated credit rating upgrade by Moody’s late on Friday, while February ended with Greek bank stocks posting monthly gains of 43.62 percent.

Kathimerini understands that the Public Debt Management Agency is eager to make the most of the favorable momentum and act before the March 11 Eurogroup, which had originally been the criterion for the issue of the first 10-year note in nine years.

A senior government official said on Thursday that the issue “will not take long to come” and stressed that the market is no longer affected by relations between the government and the country’s creditors, as the course of yields also showed on Wednesday after the European Commission report.

A positive rating review by Moody’s on Friday night could send a strong message to investors. Analysts widely expect an upgrade by one or even two notches.

Sources say that the joint bookrunners of the issue will be Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup, BNP Paribas and HSBC. The PDMA is expected to announce the issue on Monday, with the offers book opening on Tuesday.

The Finance Ministry appears inclined to make the most of the favorable climate in bond markets and not wait until the Eurogroup meeting, whose outcome cannot be taken for granted. However, if Moody’s does not upgrade Greece’s rating, the issue could be put off.