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Crisis-hit Portugal to issue new bonds in market test: report

Portugal is preparing to issue a 10-year bond for the first time since May, in what would be a major market test for the crisis-hit country, a weekly magazine reported Saturday.

“The banks in charge of the operation have already been contacted and the issuance should take place in the coming days,” the weekly Expresso wrote.

Portugal is hoping to raise money on the financial markets at a relatively low price as its borrowing costs have been driven down amid an easing of the eurozone debt crisis.

The issuance will be a crucial test of market confidence in Portugal, which hopes to exit its 78-billion-euro ($106-billion) international bailout programme in May.

In January, Portugal was able to raise 3.25 billion euros in five-year debt at a rate of 4.7 percent — better terms than at a similar operation in January 2013.