Financial Crisis : Greece returns to debt markets after three-year hiatus

Greece announces new bond issue ending three-year market exile

Greece said it had mandated BNP Paribas, Citigroup Global Markets, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Merrill Lynch as joint lead managers for the benchmark-size offering.

Speaking after the bond issue was announced, the EU's economy commissioner, Pierre Moscovici, described the public spending cuts imposed on Greece since it nearly went bust as "too tough" but "necessary", adding there was now "light at the end of austerity".

Greece returned to the European bond market and was set to sell a 3.0 billion euros of five-year paper at a yield of 4.625 percent, laying the foundations for future trades as it weans itself off external aid.

It is also an opportunity for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to shore up support for his Syriza party.

In a sign that the country is turning a corner the economy is projected to grow by 2.1 percent this year - after no growth at all in 2016.

Greece said on Tuesday its comeback to the bond markets after a three-year absence was an "absolute success".

Greece broke a three-year dry spell with a successful return to the debt markets on Tuesday, a symbolic victory for the beleaguered eurozone nation.

European Commissioner for Economic Affairs Pierre Moscovici welcomed on Tuesday in Athens, Greece's return to the market and the "dramatic improvement" of the situation in Greece.

The return to the markets comes after tension over Greece's latest bailout programme in recent months eased.

The IMF last week approved in principle a $1.8 billion standby loan arrangement for Greece, making a conditional commitment to help underpin the country's bailout program for the first time in two years.

The fund said however it would not release any funds until the eurozone agreed on a deal to cut Greece's colossal 314-billion-euro debt burden.

Moscovici said Tuesday that debt relief could come once Greece successfully implements promised reforms and completes its past year under the bailout programme, although he said a decision on what measures to undertake could be made earlier.

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