Bulgaria Pays Off EUR 880 M Debt after Bond Success
Bulgaria has paid EUR 880 M on bonds due on January 15 after successfully floating EUR 950 M worth of five-year bonds at a yield of only 4.25% at the beginning of July, the finance ministry announced.
After the payment, Bulgaria's government debt has been reduced by around EUR 815.5 M from almost EUR 6 966 B to EUR 6 147 B, Deputy Finance Minister Kalina Karaivanova said on January 10.
Bulgaria tapped international markets in July to raise funds to repay the first tranche of about EUR 835 M (USD 1.07 B) in 11-year eurobonds maturing on January 15, 2013.
The Balkan country sold EUR 950 M worth of five-year government bonds at an interest rate of below 5%, considerably lower than the yield of 7.5%, which was achieved during the country's foray into international capital markets back in 2002.
Bulgaria's government and analysts have repeatedly stressed the fact that the sale was oversubscribed, and the yield – lowish, indicating that Bulgaria is under much less pressure in comparison with countries, considered until recently much less risky.
Analysts have also commented that the timing for the eurobond was right as it seized sudden improvement in market sentiment following the summer European Union summit.
BNP Paribas, HSBC and Raiffeisen were appointed to advise the Bulgarian state as well as manage the sale of the bond.