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Classics: Greece with first 30-year bond auction since financial crisis

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(Bloomberg) - Greece is expected to issue a 30-year bond on Wednesday for the first time since 2008. The former crisis state is thus completing its return to the capital market.

The Hellenic state sells its 30-year bonds through banks and offers investors an opportunity to achieve some of the highest returns in the euro zone. Greece follows other European countries to take advantage of low interest rates to fund its pandemic stimulus plan.

The transaction shows how far Greece has come in the last ten years. At the height of the euro debt crisis in 2012, 10-year yields were over 44% and the country was cut off from international markets. Now 10-year-olds are paying below 1%, which allows the government to try its hand at the long end of the yield curve again.

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“This sale of Greek bonds symbolizes the nation's rehabilitation,” said Alexandros Malamas, a trader at Piraeus Securities in Athens.

Greek bond yields have tumbled since the heady days of the debt crisis © Bloomberg Greek bond yields have tumbled since the heady days of the debt crisis

For investors, Greek bonds have already delivered. In the past year alone, they achieved a return of around 18%, making them the best performers in the region according to Bloomberg Barclays Indices.

Greece has a cash buffer of 30 billion euros and therefore has no short-term funding needs. Still, the government wants to increase its reserves as the economic consequences of the pandemic are greater than expected.

Trading in Greek bonds remains thin, however. Data from the Greek central bank show that turnover in the secondary securities market (HDAT) was 2.6 billion euros last month. The peak in September 2004 was 136 billion euros. Therefore, syndication is a rare opportunity for investors to get hold of Greek securities in the first place.

BNP Paribas SA, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc, JP Morgan Chase & Co. and the National Bank of Greece SA are acting as joint lead managers for the deal.

Original title of the article:

Greece Tries First 30-Year Debt Sale Since 2008 Financial Crisis

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