Reuters: Greece to borrow € 10 billion to € 12 billion on bond markets in 2022

Greece plans to borrow from 10 billion euros ($ 11.3 billion) to 12 billion euros in 2022 by issuing new short and long-term debt and its first-ever green bond, two government sources told Reuters on Monday.

The country issued five-, 10- and 30-year government bonds this year, raising a total of around € 14 billion and benefiting from ultra-low interest rates boosted by the asset purchase program of the European Central Bank.

“We plan to raise around 10 to 12 billion euros next year. We will also issue our first green bond,” a government official familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Greece, which is rated BB by Standard & Poor’s, returned to international bond markets in 2017 after being stranded for years during a decade of debt crisis from which it finally emerged in August 2018.

The country aims to reduce its debt-to-gross domestic product ratio – estimated at 197.1% after rising sharply during the pandemic – and to preserve its cash reserve from unused bailout loans and money raised in the markets. Read more

“We will issue a new 10-year bond and other maturities,” a second government official said, adding that the country would debut its first green bond probably in the last quarter of 2022.

He did not give further details on the size or timelines.

Greece has accumulated a liquidity reserve of around 40 billion euros, enough to cover at least two years of debt maturing without borrowing in the markets, assuming the treasury bills in circulation are rolled over.

Since the exit from the bailout years of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in 2018, Greece has relied solely on the markets for its financing needs.

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said earlier this year that Greece was considering early repayment of bilateral loans to eurozone countries and the IMF. Read more

“It will probably take place early next year,” the chief official told Reuters without giving further details on the amount.

Greece demanded three international bailouts from 2010 to 2015 from the EU and the IMF worth more than 260 billion euros to avoid bankruptcy. The country started repaying the first bailout loans to its eurozone partners last year and is expected to repay all bailout loans by 2070.

Source: Reuters/Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas; Editing by Nick Macfie