Greece is considering to tap the bond markets in the next couple of months to cover its financing needs, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said on Tuesday.
Speaking on Open Beyond TV, Staikouras explained that the country’s cash reserves can cover until June the government’s extraordinary measures aimed at softening the blow on the economy from the restrictions to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. Various instruments such as European Union funding are considered to increase liquidity, he said, adding the possibility of a bond issue.
“Depending on developments and how the international markets shape up, the country may make a market foray at some point over the next two months,” Staikouras said.
Greece’s bond yields have eased from a year-high recorded in March, but remain above the all-time lows posted earlier this year.
In its latest weekly bulletin, the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises went as far as calling for an immediate market foray, before other bigger countries do so, with an impact on yields.
Nikolina Kosteletou, Economics Professor at the University of Athens, agrees: “It would make sense to make such a move now, as later on it may be more difficult. More countries may well rush to the markets as the crisis rages and therefore yields may move higher,” she told Xinhua on Tuesday.
Dimitris Kenourgios, Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Athens, appeared more reserved on an immediate bond issue: “I am a little concerned with such a timing. The yields may have fallen from recent highs, but not as low as they had dropped at before the outbreak of the health crisis.”
He did concede, however, that “although there are no immediate needs, there is expenditure that will be made in the months to come and will open a hole in the budget. If there is a real problem in the coming months, then it would make sense to tap the markets.” (1 euro = 1.09 U.S. dollars)