(Edited from Xinhua, Athens) Greece successfully auctioned on Tuesday its six-month treasury bills, raising 1.625 billion euros ($2.04 billion) from the market, the Greek Public Debt Management Organization announced.

The interest rate was set at 4.65 percent, slightly higher than the 4.55 percent Athens secured in the previous auction of similar six-months treasury bills in April 13 and lower than the 5-percent threshold local and foreign analysts had expected. In January the interest rate for the same treasury bills stood at 1.38 percent.

(Edited from Xinhua, Athens) Greece successfully auctioned on Tuesday its six-month treasury bills, raising 1.625 billion euros ($2.04 billion) from the market, the Greek Public Debt Management Organization announced.

The interest rate was set at 4.65 percent, slightly higher than the 4.55 percent Athens secured in the previous auction of similar six-months treasury bills in April 13 and lower than the 5-percent threshold local and foreign analysts had expected. In January the interest rate for the same treasury bills stood at 1.38 percent.

Tuesday’s auction was the first borrowing test for the debt- ridden country since May, when the safety net created by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to financially support Greece and other ailing economies to overcome the global crisis was activated.

Greek officials deemed this test of markets’ mood toward Greek national economy quite positive, as bids submitted overpassed the amount asked for initially.

The Greek government expected to raise 1.25 billion euros from competitive bids and got an additional 375 million euros from non-competitive bids.

The most pleasant surprise for Greek officials was that apart from domestic buyers, there was also interest by foreign investors.

After this outcome which supports Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou’s estimation that Greece could properly return to international markets next year, the Organization is said to plan to proceed to an auction of three-month treasury bills on July 20. But it will not auction one-year treasury bills, as originally planned.

Due to an acute debt crisis that broke out last December, Greece this year borrowed at higher costs than other European Union member countries. Greece reached a deal to receive a 110- billion-euro aid package with low interest loans from the EU and IMF over a three-year period to exit the crisis, in exchange of drastic structural reforms.

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