ATHENS — Greece on Wednesday launched a 30-year government bond auction, hoping to take advantage of low interest rates to improve its debt profile and offset some of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the country's public finances.
The book-building process for a Greek 30-year bond issue closed on Wednesday with bids submitted totaling 20 billion euros and the interest rate of the issue at 1.8 pct. The book-building process opened with the initial guidance for the interest rate at MS plus 160 basis points, or around 2.0 pct.
A steep recession in 2020 and pandemic relief costs pushed Greece's debt-to-gross domestic product ratio to over an estimated 200% last year.
In late January, Greece raised 3.5 billion euros with a 10-year bond issue with a yield of close to 0.8%.
Athens is also planning to repay part of its bailout debt to the International Monetary Fund ahead of schedule to reduce annual debt servicing costs.
The early repayment worth some 3.3 billion euros would cover nearly two-thirds of the outstanding loans to the IMF, and follow a similar repayment worth 2.7 billion euros in late 2019.