Spain's borrowing costs rise in 12-month bill auction

12th February 2013, Comments 0 comments

Spain raised 5.57 billion euros ($3.409 billion) of debt Tuesday with yields down on six-month bills but higher on 12-month bills in a sign that an agreement over the EU's budget achieved last week had not dissipated investor concerns over the nation's finances.

The Treasury sold 2.547 billion euros of the six-month bills at an average yield of 0.859 percent, down slightly from 0.888 percent at a similar auction on January 22.

It sold 3.024 billion euros of the 12-month bills at an average yield of 1.548 percent, up from 1.472 percent at a similar auction held on January 15.

The Treasury had expected to raise 4.5-5.5 billion euros in the bill auctions.

Last week Spain saw its borrowing costs edge up due to political uncertainty sparked by a corruption scandal implicating top members of the ruling Popular Party including Prime Minister Rajoy and doubts over the Spanish economy.

But an agreement reached by leaders of European Union member states on Friday over the bloc's budget for 2014-20 which will ensure that Spain will remain a net beneficiary of aid during that period had caused a reprieve.

While EU leaders agreed to their first ever cut to the bloc's budget, it spared certain core programmes such as the Common Agricultural Policy and Cohesion Funds used to help poorer regions such as Spain.

The risk premium that measures the difference in rates on the open market between Spanish 10-year bonds and safe-haven German ones stood at 381 points at the opening of markets on Tuesday, the same level as on Monday night.

The Treasury estimates its gross financing needs at 215-230 billion euros in 2013, after it borrowed a total 249.6 billion euros in 2012.

© 2013 AFP

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