Greece sells 15-year bond to bolster reserves amid pandemic

·1-min read
A pedestrian wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in front of the Greek parliament in central Athens, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. Greece has been experiencing a resurgence of the virus, with the number of new daily cases, most in the Greek capital, often topping 400, and both deaths and the number of those in intensive care units rising. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
A pedestrian wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in front of the Greek parliament in central Athens, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. Greece has been experiencing a resurgence of the virus, with the number of new daily cases, most in the Greek capital, often topping 400, and both deaths and the number of those in intensive care units rising. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece has raised 2 billion euros in a 15-year bond issue, the country’s finance minister said Wednesday, taking advantage of low interest rates to bolster cash reserves amid the coronavirus pandemic and continuing tension with neighboring Turkey.

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said the “historically low” interest rate was below 1.2%, and the bond issue enjoyed high demand.

A 15-year bond issued in February, the first of such duration from Greece in a decade, had garnered an interest rate of 1.9%, Staikouras noted.

“All this shows and confirms the trust of the international markets in the management and prospects of the Greek economy,” Staikouras said in a statement.

Greece has gradually regained access to international markets following the end of its nearly decade-long reliance on international bailouts last year. In September, the country raised 2.5 billion euros by re-issuing a June 10-year bond that had initially raised 3 billion euros.

The government is “increasing the country’s cash resources, in highly uncertain conditions due to the continued health crisis and the geopolitical tension in our region,” Staikouras said. “We are fully aware that the difficulties are many and the challenges great. It is in our hand to overcome them.”

Greece and Turkey have been embroiled in a bitter dispute over maritime boundaries in the eastern Mediterranean that has led to warships from the two countries facing off in the region.