Greece picks banks for 15-year bond: statement

Monitoring Desk

ATHENS: Greece on Monday opened books for a new 15-year bond issue, in its first foray into international markets since the 2010 financial crisis, officials said.

The state debt management agency said it had “mandated Barclays, BNP Paribas, BofA Securities, Goldman Sachs International Bank, HSBC and JP Morgan” as joint managers for the offering with a 2035 maturity.

According to officials, the issue plans to draw some 2-2.5 billion euros ($2.2-2.8 billion) at an interest rate of around two percent.

Athens is seeking to capitalize on the lower interest rates now available in the financial markets and a recent upgrade by ratings agency Fitch.

The country is emerging from a decades-long financial crisis and regular bond issues are seen as a step toward normalcy. They also aim to improve liquidity as well as its investor base.

Greece aims to borrow between 4.0 and 8.0 billion euros ($4.4-9 billion) in 2020, according to the government’s budget. Last year it raised 9.0 billion euros in bonds.(AFP/APP)