EFSF prepares bond sale to aid Portugal
The European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF) launched a bond issue on Wednesday to raise five billion euros ($7.6 billion) for crisis-hit Portugal, two market sources told AFP.
The fund, the main bailout mechanism for the 17-nation monetary union at the heart of Europe, said on Friday that it was organising two offers in the coming weeks to help Portugal as part of a joint EU-IMF rescue plan.
The first sale will be for ten years and is to raise five billion euros.
A second offer for three billion euros with a five-year maturity will take place before the summer holidays, the fund said.
In its successful first issuance in January, the EFSF raised five billion euros ($6.8 billion) to help Ireland with bids totalling nearly nine times the amount on offer.
Meanwhile on Wednesday Portugal announced it raised one billion euros in short term debt at lower interest rates than recent similar operations.
The state debt management agency, IGCP, placed 612 million euros in 3-month treasury bonds at a median rate of 4.86 percent (down from 4.97 percent on June 1) and 388 million euros in 6-month treasury bonds with a median rate of 4.95 percent (down from 5.53 percent on April 20).
Demand for the debt was high, reaching 2.4 times the offer for the three-month bonds and 3.8 times for the six-month offer.
"The only news of the day is that the Portuguese state continues to finance itself on the markets, though the price is high," said Filipe Silva, fixed-income strategist at Carregosa bank.
Portugal also reimbursed 6.77 billion euros in short term debt that had reached maturity, a repayment made using the the first tranche of the 78 billion euro rescue plan from the EU and the IMF.
© 2011 AFP