Spain pays lower rates in 4.9-billion-euro bond sale

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Spain paid sharply lower borrowing rates in a 4.941-billion-euro government bond sale on Tuesday, in a sign of improved confidence in its creditworthiness after months of financial turmoil.

The Treasury paid yields of 4.050 percent for 12-month bonds and 4.226 percent for 18-month bonds, down from more than five percent in the last comparable auction, it said in a statement.

The amount raised, 4.941 billion euros ($6.5 billion), was higher than the 3.25-4.25 billion euros as the Treasury took advantage of the lower rates to raise extra money.

Demand from investors was very strong, at more than four times the original offer.

Spain's borrowing costs soared last month due to fears over its high public deficit, raising pressure on the conservative leader Mariano Rajoy who will take power next week after winning a November 20 election.

The risk premium -- a key measure of stability reflecting the extra return investors demand to buy Spanish 10-year government bonds over German ones -- broke records in mid-November, surging close to five percentage points.

Spain's next bond sale is on December 15, when it aims to raise 2.5 to 3.5 billion euros in bonds of up to 10 years.

The Madrid stock market ticked up by 0.39 percent on Tuesday morning after a sharp fall of more than 3.0 percent on Monday.

© 2011 AFP

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