Greece issues 30-year bond to smooth debt costs

ATHENS, GREECE (AP) — Greece yesterday launched a 30-year government bond auction, hoping to take advantage of low interest rates to improve its debt profile and offset some of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the country’s public finances. A steep recession in 2020 and pandemic relief costs pushed Greece’s debt-to-gross domestic product ratio to over an estimated 200 per cent last year.

In late January, Greece raised EUR3.5 billion with a 10-year bond issue with a yield of close to 0.8 per cent. Athens is also planning to repay part of its bailout debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) ahead of schedule to reduce annual debt servicing costs.

The early repayment worth some EUR3.3 billion would cover nearly two-thirds of the outstanding loans to the IMF, and follow a similar repayment worth EUR2.7 billion in late 2019.

A woman leaves the Athens Academy building. PHOTO: AP