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Greece begins process for first bond issue since bailout exit

Athens, Jan 28: Greece's debt agency on Monday said it had begun a process for the country's first bond issue — a five-year sale — since exiting the last bailout.

The agency said the bond, carrying an April 2024 maturity, would be offered to investors “in the near future”.

Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs International Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Societe Generale have been named as managers of the sale.

In its last bond issue in February 2018, Greece raised 3.0 billion euros at 3.5 percent via a 7-year bond.

Offers at the time stood at around 6.5 billion euros.

The previous five-year bond sale, in July 2017, raised 3.0 billion euros at 4.625 percent.

Greece currently has no urgent need to draw money from the bond markets as it has built a cash cushion of at least 15 billion euros.

“Our financing needs are fully covered to 2020,” Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told parliament earlier this month.

But it acts as a psychological milestone, designed to show that the country is on the road to recovery after emerging from its third international debt bailout in August.

In a statement concluding its first post-bailout monitoring mission on Friday, the International Monetary Fund pegged Greek growth this year at 2.4 percent.

The Greek budget forecasts 2.5-percent growth, better than the expected eurozone average.

The Greek public debt in 2018 climbed to 335 billion euros, or 180.4 percent, of GDP. It is forecast to fall to 167.8 percent in 2019.

(AFP/APP)

Posted on: 2019-01-28T19:25:00+05:00

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