October 5, 2016 / 11:17 AM / a year ago

EBRD ups Greek support with $7 million Fourlis bond buy

ATHENS, Oct 5 (Reuters) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on Wednesday it bought 15 percent of retailer Fourlis' 40 million euro ($45 million) bond last month, in another effort to kickstart the ailing Greek economy.

Housemarket, a subsidiary of Fourlis which holds the IKEA franchise in Greece, Bulgaria and Cyprus, said on Tuesday that the first Greek corporate bond to be listed on the Athens stock exchange was oversubscribed 1.25 times.

"This is a milestone in developing and boosting Greece's capital market. The EBRD is delighted to have been able to support this issue as it provides a much-needed signal to the market that confidence is returning," the bank's director for manufacturing and services Frederic Lucenet said in a statement.

Housemarket has said it will use the proceeds of the bond, which is due to start trading on Thursday, to boost its working capital and investments in IKEA.

The EBRD has offered more than 600 million euros in financing to Greek private companies, banks and infrastructure projects since 2015.

In recent months, it has agreed a $20 million loan for Greece's sole oil producer Energean Oil & Gas and a 339 million euros loan for the country's biggest telecoms group OTE . ($1 = 0.8914 euros) (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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