ECONOMY

Greece tries hand at short-term debt

Greece plans to sell three-month, six-month and 12-month Treasury bills in April after the country paid a high price for its latest debt auction earlier this week. Petros Christodoulou, director general of the Public Debt Management Office, was cited by news agencies as saying yesterday that Greece will sell six-month and 12-month bills on April 13 and three-month bills on April 20. He did not provide details on the amounts the Greek government will attempt to raise. Market watchers said Greece’s standing on capital markets weakened after Monday’s 5-billion-euro bond offering failed to attract the same interest as previous issues, and after Athens needed to pay a high price to fill its order books. Monday’s auction attracted 6.25 billion euros in orders, with 43 percent of government paper being sold to domestic investors. Analysts said a looming Easter holiday, the bond’s relatively unusual seven-year duration and a generally subdued European market in recent days had all contributed to the comparatively muted interest in the bond. In a surprise move yesterday, Greece’s public debt agency reopened a 20-year bond that matures in 2022 in a bid to raise up to 1 billion euros. The agency sold 390 million euros in an auction it said was aimed at addressing a technical dislocation on the Greek government bond curve.