Sovereign debt: Europe’s bailout fund sold 50 percent more in bonds than expected in its offering on Tuesday.
The Kirchberg-based European Financial Stability Facility placed seven-year bonds for the first time ever. Before the offering, bookmakers had anticipated the agency selling about two billion euro in debt.
But in the end, the EFSF’s bankers were able to sell three billion euro worth of the bonds. They reported strong demand from Asia and from central banks and sovereign wealth funds.
“I am very happy with today’s result as it demonstrates the strong investor interest in the EFSF name, irrespective of market conditions,” Christophe Frankel, its deputy CEO and CFO said in a press statement.
The EFSF, backed by euro zone governments, had its AAA rating downgraded one notch by credit agency Standard & Poor in January. Nevertheless the EFSF sold more than a billion and a half euro worth of six-month bills the next day, receiving more than four billion euro in bids, the facility said earlier this year. In March, the fund raised €3.8 billion more in three month notes.
Last year, the EFSF raised nearly two billion euro in three-month bills and six billion euro in five- and ten-year bonds.
The money raised by all these sales is used to support the financial rescue programmes for Ireland, Portugal and Greece.
TEXT: Aaron Grunwald · PHOTO(S): European Commission archives