Portuguese PM hails result of bond sales

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Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates hailed Wednesday the anxiously-awaited results of a government bond issue and reiterated that Lisbon did not need financial help from European partners.

"It was a success," the Portuguese premier told reporters in Frankfurt where he was visiting a textile trade fair.

"First of all the demand was very good and the price was also very good," he added.

Back in Portugal, the government raised 1.25 billion euros ($1.6 billion dollars) via a sovereign debt issue on Wednesday, the maximum it offered, attracting strong interest and slightly lower rates for long-term bonds.

"The market has showed confidence" in Lisbon's ability to manage its finances, Socrates said.

Portugal has to raise 20 billion euros in fresh financing this year, with another 26.5 billion euros in maturing debt to be covered.

It has reportedly received help from heavy European Central Bank bond purchases on secondary markets this week, but financial markets have speculated that the country would soon have to ask for help from other eurozone members.

China and Japan have also indicated they were prepared to buy eurozone bonds, which helped to calm markets that felt Portugal could follow Ireland and Greece in seeking to tap emergency funds collected by various bodies, including the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

"We don't need that help because we are able to do our work by ourselves," Socrates told reporters.

"We are doing our work and the market knows that perfectly."

© 2011 AFP

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