ECONOMY

In Brief

Greece raises 7.5 billion euros from 3-year bond Greece raised 7.5 billion euros from the reopening of a three-year benchmark bond yesterday, pricing the issue at the tight end of the range set as yield guidance, the country’s debt agency PDMA said. The March 20, 2012 bond was priced at 101.726, giving it a spread of 145 basis points over mid-swaps. Yield guidance had been initially set between 145 to 150 basis points over mid-swaps. There was solid demand from investors, with offers reaching 13.5 billion euros, a PDMA official said. The issue brings to 14.5 billion euros the 4.3 percent benchmark’s total amount. PDMA has already borrowed about 40 billion euros this year against an initial target of 43.7 billion for 2009, which it has said will be exceeded. «Investors found pricing at mid-swaps plus 145 bps attractive, as the market is convinced that no eurozone country will be allowed to default,» said Fanis Mylonas, head of fixed income at EFG Eurobank. The bond was offered at a premium of 189.6 basis points over Germany’s 4.0 percent, April 2012, bond, PDMA said. The Greek benchmark traded down 150 basis points at 104.69. The financial crisis has widened the premium Greece must pay on its bonds compared with higher-rated countries such as Germany at a time when a slowing economy and weak government revenues boost public borrowing needs. (Reuters) ATEbank not interested in Citigroup operations ATEbank SA, a state-controlled Greek bank, said reports it was interested in acquiring Citigroup’s Greek operations weren’t true. The bank made the statement in a filing to the Athens bourse. (Bloomberg) Turkey-IMF Turkey has presented a medium-term program to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as talks continue over a new loan accord with the Washington-based lender, Economy Minister Mehmet Simsek said. «We did submit our program recently,» Simsek said at the Brookings Institution in Washington yesterday. «You can only do your own part and wait for the counter-party to respond.» Turkey is seeking the new loan accord with the IMF to support the lira and help finance its budget as the economic slowdown reduces tax revenues. The economy shrank 6.2 percent in the last quarter of 2008, its first contraction in seven years. Moody’s Investors Service expects the economy to contract at least 4 percent this year, putting the government’s budget goals at risk. The government doesn’t have an exact date yet for the IMF to visit Ankara, Simsek said. He declined to comment on the possible size of the package, saying Turkey is «not there yet.» After meeting with Simsek on the weekend, IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said he expected an accord in the «coming weeks,» NTV news reported yesterday. (Bloomberg) Securities regulator Anastassios Gavrielidis, currently No 2 at Greece’s securities regulator, has been nominated to succeed Alexis Pilavios as the new head of the Capital Market Commission, Greece’s finance minister said yesterday. Finance Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou’s pick will need parliamentary clearance. Pilavios’s term ended April 25 and was extended to May 31. (Reuters)