EXCLUSIVE Greece will borrow up to 8 billion euros on the bond markets in 2023

ATHENS, November 1 (Reuters) – Greece plans to raise up to 8 billion euros ($7.91 billion) in debt markets in 2023 by issuing new short- and long-term issues, reports two government sources told Reuters on Tuesday.

The country emerged from a decade-long debt crisis in 2018 and has since relied solely on bond markets to cover its borrowing needs.

It expects to achieve a primary surplus again in 2023, three years after the COVID-19 pandemic hampered its fiscal progress, and regain investment grade status despite the energy crisis engulfing Europe.

Athens issued a 10- and 5-year government bond this year and reopened several other maturities through auctions to inject liquidity at certain points on the yield curve. It has raised around €8 billion so far this year.

It also plans to prepay 2.7 billion euros of Greek Lending Facility (GLF) bilateral loans due in 2023, owed to eurozone countries under the first bailout.

“Our borrowing needs for next year are limited, especially after the early repayment of GLF loans. We will borrow 7-8 billion euros in the bond markets,” a finance ministry official told Reuters.

A second government official confirmed the country’s borrowing plan for 2023.

Greece also plans to issue its first green bond in 2023, an issuance that was originally scheduled for this year.

“We didn’t want to move forward with such a sensitive issue in such a volatile market. We will do that next year,” the first official said.

Greece posted a budget deficit of 15.1% of gross domestic product in 2009, when its crisis erupted and forced it to sign three international bailouts that kept it afloat. Since then, his finances have improved.

However, borrowing costs on the benchmark 10-year bond have almost tripled since the start of the year, reflecting a broader rise in yields as the European Central Bank raises interest rates to rein in inflation. record. The yield stood at 4.57% on Tuesday.

Greece, still the most indebted country in the eurozone, has a liquidity reserve of around 38 billion euros, enough to cover its borrowing needs for at least two years without having to resort to international bond markets. .

Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas; Editing by Alison Williams

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