June 9, 2020 / 1:24 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 2-Greece gets strong support for new 3 bln euro 10-year bond

(Adds yield, quote from Finance Minister)

By Lefteris Papadimas and Yoruk Bahceli

ATHENS/AMSTERDAM, June 9 (Reuters) - Greece attracted strong support for its new 10-year bond on Tuesday, taking advantage of low yields to help buttress an economy badly damaged by the coronavirus outbreak.

Investor demand for the bond exceeded 16 billion euros. Its pricing was set at 160 basis points over the mid-swap level, with a yield of 1.57%.

Greece raised 3 billion euros from the sale, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said. “Today Greece received a vote of confidence from the international investing community,” he said.

BNP Paribas, BofA Securities, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs International Bank, HSBC and J.P. Morgan are joint lead managers for the new issue, maturing in June, 2030.

Yields on the country’s 10-year bonds fell by about 10 basis points after the European Central Bank announced last week an increase of the size of emergency bond purchases by 600 billion euros to 1.35 trillion euros.

Athens raised a total of 4.5 billion euros from 15- and 7- year bond issues earlier this year. Government officials told Reuters in March that Greece planned at least two more bond issues by the end of the year to raise another 4 billion euros.

During its debt crisis, which broke out in late 2009, Greece was shut out of bond markets and borrowed heavily from euro zone states and the IMF on the basis of strict economic reform terms and spending cuts. Its third international bailout expired in 2018.

Greece had been expecting strong growth this year but the pandemic has turned its expectations upside down.

Its economy is now expected to shrink by 8-13%, mainly due to lower tourism revenues and a shutdown in financial activity from a March to May lockdown. (Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas and Yoruk Bacheli; Editing by Giles Elgood)

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