Greece taps bond markets after sovereign upgrade

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece raised 1.5 billion euros in a 7-year bond re-issue Wednesday, tapping markets days after a sovereign credit rating upgrade.

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said the money was raised with a yield of 2.4% ‒ up from the 2% yield in 2020 when the bond was first issued.

The latest auction took place amid “uncertainty and a deterioration of conditions in the global bond market,” the minister said. “The uncertainty is caused by geopolitical developments, the ongoing health and energy crises and the significant increase in inflation, as well as the shift by central banks toward a more restrictive monetary policy.”

Athens is hoping to return to investment grade next year for the first time since the near-collapse of its economy triggered successive international bailouts starting in 2010.

The ratings agency Standard & Poor’s on Friday raised the Greek sovereign rating to BB+ from BB, one notch below investment grade. S&P praised ongoing reforms by Greece’s center-right government despite global financial disruption caused by the war in Ukraine. Following Greece’s exit in 2018 from international bailouts, mostly funded by other members of the eurozone, Greece’s public finances remain under “enhanced surveillance” by the European Union that include tough spending controls. That process is due to end over the summer.

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