Tags: EU | Greece | Financial | Crisis

Greek Yields Jump After $1.63 Billion T-Bill Sale

Tuesday, 13 Apr 2010 07:59 AM


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Greece easily sold a total of 1.2 billion euros ($1.63 billion) of 6-month and one-year T-bills on Tuesday, passing its first borrowing test since details of an EU/IMF safety net were announced at the weekend.

The debt agency accepted an additional 360 million euros in non-competitive bids, bringing the total proceeds to 1.56 billion euros.

The successful sale may encourage Greece to continue trying to go it alone in refunding its debt instead of applying for emergency loans, although borrowing remains quite costly, adding to budget strains.

The auction by the country's Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) produced a uniform yield of 4.85 percent for the 52-week T-bill, up from 2.20 percent in a previous Jan 12 auction.

The 26-week yield came to 4.55 percent, up from 1.38 percent in the previous auction.

"The issuance was very successful. Greece raised more funds than originally announced and the issue was oversubscribed several times," said Ioannis Sokos, a bond analyst at BNP Paribas.

While the yield on one-year bills was lower than the 6-7 percent Greece would have paid last week, it is still quite costly for the debt-laden country, indicating the market still sees risks over a 12-month horizon.

The T-bill issue was smoothly absorbed. The bid-to-cover ratio was 6.5 versus 3.05 in the previous January auction.

"It's a positive endorsement of the bailout measures that went out over the week-end," said Ben May of Capital Economics. "But clearly the yields are still very high and longer term bond yields remain very high even by recent standards."

Including Tuesday's auction, Greece has borrowed more than 25.5 billion euros so far this year, around 10 percent of its GDP, to cover redemptions and deficits. Its projected total borrowing need this uyear is 53.2 billion.

Greece's debt-to-GDP ratio is seen rising to 103.4 percent this year, with the budget deficit topping 6 percent of GDP.

Yield spreads of benchmark 10-year Greek government bonds over Bunds, which blew out to around 300 basis points in January, stood at 360 basis points on Tuesday.

Dealers attributed the yield drop at Tuesday's T-bill auction to strong demand by primary dealers amid low interest rates in the euro area.

Settlement date is April 16.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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