EU Says Confidence Returning As Greece Sells Bonds First Time Since 2014

Greece Facing Uncertain Future After Rejecting EU Proposals

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras hailed Greece's bond sale on Tuesday, the first in three years, as a landmark on its way to exiting the crisis and its global bailouts on Tuesday.

Greece raised three billion euros (3.5 billion US dollars) selling five-year state bonds at a 4.625 percent interest rate in what was the country's first test return to global bond markets in three years, Greek national news agency AMNA reported on Tuesday.

That is slightly below the 4.95 percent in Greece's last auction of five-year bonds in 2014, which was reportedly the target the Greek government had set.

"This choice is a significant step, part of Greece's strategy to regain viable and steady access to worldwide markets", Tsipras's office said in a statement.

According to the state document, Greek five-year euro-denominated bonds amounting to 4 billion euros ($4.6 billion) will be priced on Tuesday with BNP Paribas, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and HSBC as joint lead managers.

Athens "announces today that it intends to offer new euro-denominated fixed rate notes due 2022", the finance ministry said in a statement on Monday.




Moscovici said Tuesday that debt relief could come once Greece successfully implements promised reforms and completes its previous year under the bailout programme, although he said a decision on fresh measures may come earlier.

He will meet Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras, among others.

Rating agency Standard & Poor's had raised the country's rating outlook to "positive" from "stable" on Friday, on the expectation that the government will receive debt relief from its creditors next year.

The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) will also keep feeding the debt-ridden country with low interest rate loans (0.8 and 1.8 percent) until the end of the bailout programme in July 2018.

But the clash with borrowers killed off a nascent recovery, with the Greek economy stagnating in 2016, although it is expected to post modest growth of 2.1 percent this year.

However, the IMF said it would not release any funds until the eurozone agreed on a deal to cut Greece's €314bn debt burden.

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