Lending markets

Greece taps bond markets after sovereign upgrade

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece raised 1.5 billion euros in a 7-year bond reissue on Wednesday, tapping markets days after a sovereign credit rating upgrade.

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said the money was raised with a yield of 2.4%, up from the 2% yield in 2020 when the bond was first issued.

The latest auction took place amid “uncertainty and deteriorating conditions in the global bond market”, the minister said. “Uncertainty is caused by geopolitical developments, the ongoing health and energy crises and the significant increase in inflation, as well as central bank moves towards more restrictive monetary policy.”

Athens hopes to return to investment grade next year for the first time since its economy’s near collapse triggered successive international bailouts from 2010.

Rating agency Standard & Poor’s raised Greece’s sovereign rating from BB+ to BB+ on Friday, one notch below investment grade. S&P praised the ongoing reforms of the center-right Greek government despite the global financial disruption caused by the war in Ukraine. Following Greece’s 2018 exit from international bailouts, mostly funded by other eurozone members, Greece’s public finances remain under “enhanced scrutiny” by the European Union, which includes strict controls on expenses. This process should be completed during the summer.

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