Off The Wire
UPDATE 2-Greece prepares for seven-year bond issue in post-election calm
* Greece to issue seven-year bond "in the near future"
* Bankers say it aims to raise about 2 bln euros
* Greece could open books on Tuesday, the earliest - sources (Adds details) By Lefteris Papadimas ATHENS, July 15 (Reuters) - Greece plans to issue a seven-year bond "in the near future", authorities said on Monday, hoping to take advantage of record- low borrowing costs. The market foray would be the country's third since it emerged from international bailouts last year. Since then, yields of Greek bonds have dropped to record lows. The yield of the seven-year bond has fallen to 1.56% from about 4% at the beginning of the year. Authorities did not provide any details on the amount sought.
Two bankers with knowledge of the issue said that Greece aimed to raise "about 2 billion euros" and that it would open the books for the issue in the coming days, probably on Tuesday. "Greek yields are the euro zone's most attractive and the political risk is very low," said a senior fixed-income trader. The announcement on the upcoming bond issue came a week after a snap election which conservatives won with a commanding lead over leftists, on a platform of investments, jobs, tax cuts and security. Greece currently has a cash buffer of 34 billion euros ($38.33 billion) from unused loans and money raised from markets and can service its debt obligations for more than two years. It has issued two bonds this year, a five-year bond in January and a 10-year bond in March, raising about 5 billion euros ($5.64 billion) from markets out of 7.5 billion aimed for this year.
Greece plans to use a small part of its buffer to pay off earlier expensive International Monetary Fund loans. Greece has mandated Barclays, BofA Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Nomura and Société Générale as joint lead managers for the upcoming transaction, according to a regulatory filing to the Athens stock exchange.
($1 = 0.8870 euros) (Additional reporting by Angeliki Koutantou, writing by Renee Maltezou, editing by Larry King)Messaging: email@example.com))