ECONOMY

In Brief

Greece sells 13-week T-bills at 4.05 pct yield Greece yesterday passed its second borrowing test since a funding deal with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in May, selling 1.95 billion euros of 13-week treasury bills. The auction to roll over maturing paper was covered but debt-laden Greece had to pay a higher yield than in a previous auction held earlier this year. The Public Debt Management Agency said yesterday’s auction produced a yield of 4.05 percent, up from 3.65 percent in an April 20 auction. The bid-cover ratio was 3.85 versus 4.61 in April. «Considering the circumstances, things seem to have gone quite well,» said Jens-Oliver Niklasch, bond analyst at LBBW. «With the current junk rating on its bonds, it is normal that Greece had to pay more than in the previous auction,» he said. Greece’s borrowing cost was cheaper than the 5 percent the debt-laden country pays to borrow under the 110-billion-euro EU-IMF loan put in place to calm a crisis that has shaken the eurozone. Greece earlier this month sold 1.625 billion euros in 26-week T-bills at a yield of 4.65 percent. About 90 percent of the paper was bought by Greek banks. (Reuters) ECB funding to Greek banks at 93.8 bln euros European Central Bank funding to Greek lenders rose 4.9 percent at the end of June from the previous month, Greek central bank data showed yesterday. Lending to euro-area credit institutions related to monetary policy operations, which reflects ECB lending to Greek banks, stood at 93.8 billion euros compared to 89.4 billion at the end of May, the Bank of Greece said in its monthly financial statement published on its website. Greek banks have lost wholesale market access in the wake of the country’s debt crisis, becoming increasingly reliant on the ECB to fund their operations. ECB funding stood at 49.7 billion euros at the beginning of the year. (Reuters) Serb delay Serbia’s parliament yesterday delayed appointing a new central bank governor, in a vote that opposition lawmakers say will extend government influence over monetary policy, as the dinar currency hovered close to all-time lows. Deputies were expected to confirm Dejan Soskic’s six-year term but held off until next week for procedural reasons, a top parliamentary official said. President Boris Tadic nominated Soskic, a 43-year-old university professor and the head of the bank’s supervisory board, earlier this month. Analysts say Soskic’s key task will be to tackle the sliding dinar, which hit a new low of 105.10 per euro yesterday compared with around 76 when the global financial crisis struck in 2008. (Reuters) EU raps Romania The European Union chided Romania for falling behind in efforts to root out rampant corruption, but praised Bulgaria, its fellow newcomer in the bloc, for progress in fighting graft. In an annual progress report published yesterday, the European Commission said Romania’s politicians lacked the will to push ahead with reforms, putting the Black Sea nation in violation of its EU entry commitments. «While Bulgaria has embraced reform efforts and achieved important results, Romania has lost momentum with this report showing important shortcomings,» the EU executive said in a statement. (Reuters) TO OUR READERS The Agenda on the business page of Monday’s issue of Kathimerini English Edition mistakenly announced a press conference to take place today, organized by NGO Praxis with the participation of the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). Kathimerini apologizes for any confusion this may have caused. Although there is no such event planned, the ever-active Praxis, in association with the Serres group for the UNESCO and the local offices of track and field federation SEGAS, last weekend organized an information campaign for refugees in the Macedonian city, supported by the UNHCR. The campaign was held within the context of the national juniors’ track and field championship on July 17-18 in Serres.