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Greece in First-ever Negative Interest Rate Sale, Says PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis

Image for representation.

Image for representation.

A growing number of countries are selling bonds at negative interest rates, when investors effectively pay for governments to hold their money, as monetary authorities have slashed borrowing costs in an attempt to boost the economy.

Athens: Greece, which needed three international bailouts earlier this decade, joined Wednesday the growing ranks of countries able to sell debt at negative interest rates.

"A few minutes ago I was informed that Greece borrowed money at a negative interest rate for the first time ever," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told parliament according to state agency ANA.

The Greek debt agency had earlier announced it had sold a batch of 3-month treasury bills at -0.02 percent, compared to 0.095 percent in an equivalent sale in August.

A growing number of countries are selling bonds at negative interest rates, when investors effectively pay for governments to hold their money, as monetary authorities have slashed borrowing costs in an attempt to boost the economy.

Greece, which saw the yields on its 10-year bonds soar over 40 percent in the secondary market at one point earlier this decade, was able to place on Tuesday 1.5 billion euros at that maturity at a rate of return for investors of 1.5 percent.

As Greece's economy has begun to rebound and the government has kept its finances in check, the country's borrowing costs have fallen, although they remain far above those for its eurozone counterparts.

Both Germany and France are able to borrow for 10 years at negative yields, while the yields on Italy's 10-year bonds is roughly 0.87 percent.

Greece expects its economy to grow by 2.8 percent in 2020 whilst respecting fiscal pledges to the country's creditors, a draft budget released Monday said.

first published:October 09, 2019, 18:13 IST