ECONOMY

In Brief

Cyprus covers 2010 financing needs NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cyprus said yesterday it had fully covered its financing needs for most of the year with a 10-year benchmark bond on international markets this week, with no further issues expected this year. Cyprus raised 1 billion euros from the bond, which matures February 3, 2020. The final pricing on the bond was set at mid-swaps plus 125 basis points with a coupon of 4.625 percent. «We have fully covered the needs of the public [sector] until November, and we do not expect a further issue this year,» Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis said. That applied to both foreign and domestic borrowing, he said. Some 65 percent of the issue was allocated to foreign investors and 35 percent to investors based in Cyprus, Stavrakis said. The issue went to institutional investors, banks, pension funds, health funds and Cyprus’s social security fund, he told a news conference. «We succeeded in this issue amid an unprecedented negative climate for sovereign debt on the markets,» he said. Italian debt auction sees tepid demand LONDON (Reuters) – Italy sold 7.04 billion euros ($9.88 billion) in fixed-rate bonds yesterday, drawing tepid demand in a peripheral eurozone debt market shaken by worries over the fiscal health of peers such as Greece and Portugal. Italian bonds are seen as the benchmark for peripheral eurozone government debt, given Italy’s deep market compared with the likes of Portugal and Greece. «Overall it was not very well received,» said Michael Leister, a bond strategist at WestLB in Dusseldorf. Portugal’s shortfall Portugal still needs to present a credible longer-term deficit-reduction plan to ensure credit ratings remain where they are, Moody’s Investors Service said yesterday, following the presentation of the government’s 2010 budget. Moody’s said the 2010 budget deficit target of 8.3 percent of gross domestic product, a reduction of 1 point from 2009’s higher-than-expected 9.3 percent, was «slightly higher than previously anticipated,» while the country can no longer be described as having fairly low debt. «A credible plan for deficit reduction will be needed to ensure the government’s ability to reverse its adverse debt dynamics and, in turn, avoid further downward pressure on its ratings,» Moody’s said. (Reuters) Turkish credit Sekerbank TAS, a Turkish lender owned by BTA Bank JSC of Kazakhstan, expects loans to grow by 20 percent this year. The bank’s loan book expanded about 12 percent in 2009, CEO Meric Ulusahin told Bloomberg HT television in an interview in Istanbul yesterday. (Bloomberg) Romanian deficit Romania targets a budget deficit of 3 percent of gross domestic product in 2012, down from its target of a gap of 5.9 percent this year, Finance Minister Sebastian Vladescu said yesterday. The target is a condition of a 20-billion-euro bailout package led by the International Monetary Fund, Vladescu told reporters in Bucharest. (Bloomberg)