LJUBLJANA, Oct 20: Slovenia raised $2.25 billion in 10-year bonds on Friday, with a 5.7 per cent rate of return and amid massive demand, the eurozone country’s finance ministry said.

Demand far exceeded supply at the auction, with bids for bonds maturing in 2022 topping $11 billion.

“(This) is this year’s highest demand for dollar-bonds from the central and eastern Europe region,” the ministry rejoiced in a statement. Earlier this week, Slovenia launched an investor road show in the US in an effort to sell $1.5 billion worth of bonds, to ensure the financing of the country’s budget and debt in the following months and avoid a bailout.

“The success of the transaction confirms that the government’s reform programme is correct and that we continue to have access to international capital markets,” the finance ministry said on Friday.

In August, the main international ratings agencies cut Slovenia’s rating, citing the poor state of its banking sector, slow moves to recapitalise lenders and the political situation. The downgrade pushed benchmark government bond yields above 7.0 per cent, a level seen as unsustainable in the long term. —AFP

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