Portugal raises 1 billion euros in bill sale
LISBON - Agence France-PressePortugal raised 1 billion euros ($1.344 billion) in three-month treasury bills yesterday at an interest rate slightly lower than at its previous such issue last month.
The interest rate was 4.873 percent against 4.895 percent on Nov. 16, while demand was double the supply, against a ratio of 2.4 times in the previous offer.
The target of the government, desperately trying to balance the public finances even as the economy contracts, had been to raise 1.25 billion euros at 5 percent, said Carregosa bank bond strategist Filipe Silva. But he said the result was “positive” because the Portuguese state “continues to be able to sell its debt at a lower price than that on the secondary market, which is 5-5.25 percent for the same maturity.”
Portugal had to be bailed out in May with a 78-billion-euro rescue package put together by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in return for austerity measures.