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UPDATE 2-Greece opens books on 30-year bond, sees 17 bln euros of demand

· 03/17/2021 05:14
UPDATE 2-Greece opens books on 30-year bond, sees 17 bln euros of demand

%Adds background, detail

By Lefteris Papadimas

- Greece got 17 billion euros of demand for its new 30-year bond issue, its first such sale in over a decade, as it continues its return to the markets after three bailouts during the euro zone debt crisis, lead managers said on Wednesday.

Pricing was set in a range of 150-155 basis points over mid-swaps, the lead manager said.

Greece last issued a 30-year bond in 2008, a year before the start of its worst debt crisis in decades. After regaining market access in 2017, it has gradually been issuing longer-dated bonds, venturing out to a 15-year maturity last January.

Greece plans to borrow up to 12 billion euros this year and has already raised 5.5 billion euros with the reopening of a 30-year bond through a private placement and a new 10-year bond issue in January. nL8N2JG2H1 nL8N2K2210

"Greece now wants to fill the yield curve with a new 30-year long-term benchmark bond and attract real money investors by taking advantage of low interest rates," a government official told Reuters.

BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan and National Bank of Greece were appointed to jointly lead manage the issue maturing on January 24, 2052.

Greece has been a key beneficiary of the European Central Bank's pandemic emergency bond-buying programme, which holds down government borrowing costs in southern European countries.

The bank, which doesn't buy Greek debt as part of its mainstream bond purchases, included it in the pandemic programme despite Greece's junk credit ratings. That pushed Greek 10-year bond yields to record lows late last year. GR10YT=RR

The risk premium Greece pays on top of German bonds for benchmark 10-year debt is currently around 120 basis points, near its lowest since 2009, according to Refinitiv.

(Additonal reporting by Yoruk Bahceli in Amsterdam; writing by Renee Maltezou; editing by Timothy Heritage, Larry King)

((renee.maltezou@thomsonreuters.com; +30 210 3376439; Reuters Messaging: renee.maltezou.reuters.com@reuters.net))