March 14, 2012 / 10:23 AM / 5 years ago

Italy 3-yr debt costs below 3 pct, raises top amount

MILAN, March 14 (Reuters) - Italy's three-year borrowing costs dropped to 2.76 percent at a bond auction on Wednesday, their lowest level since October 2010, as solid demand helped Italy raise six billion euros at the sale and meet the top of its target range.

Italy sold five billion euros of a new three-year BTP bond maturing in March 2015, meeting requests for 1.6 times that amount. A previous three-year sale in mid-February had been covered 1.4 times. The average yield then had been 3.4 percent.

Italy also sold 1 billion euros of an off-the-run Sept. 2019 BTP bond at an average 4.3 percent yield.

In a sign of easing market pressure on the euro zone's third-largest economy, Italy has set the coupon on the new three-year bond at 2.5 percent. That compares to a 6 percent coupon on a three-year BTP bond Italy launched in late November, at the height of the euro zone debt crisis.

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