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Slovenian Benchmark Bond Yield Drops Below 6% on ECB Financing

The yield on Slovenia’s benchmark government bonds dropped below 6 percent for the first time in three months as the European Central Bank’s increased lending stoked demand for debt of European nations.

Slovenia’s notes maturing in January 2021 continued to rally with the yield dropping to 5.934 percent at 12:06 p.m. in Ljubljana, according to mid-pricing data compiled by Bloomberg. The yield breached the 7 percent mark on Nov. 11 as the sovereign debt crisis threatened to engulf Italy, Slovenia’s western neighbor and its third-biggest trading partner after Germany and Austria.

“It’s all due to external factors,” Michal Dybula, an economist at BNP Paribas in Warsaw, Poland, said in an e-mail today. “Risk mode is now on for all markets following the ECB’s long-term refinancing operation.”

The Frankfurt-based ECB’s three-year lending program, known as LTRO, is stoking demand for the region’s sovereign debt even as policy makers struggle to reach agreement on a second bailout for Greece. European nations such as France and Spain are also seeing their borrowing costs decline on investors’ appetite for riskier assets.

Slovenia, which had its credit rating cut by Moody’s, Fitch and Standard & Poor’s since September, may get a new government led by Janez Jansa, who promised to trim spending by 800 million euros ($1.1 billion) this year. The euro-area nation has been without an official Cabinet since the administration of Prime Minister Borut Pahor was toppled in a September no-confidence vote.

Slovenia is rated A1 at Moody’s, the fifth-highest investment level, and an equivalent A+ at S&P. Fitch rates the country at A. All three companies have assigned it a negative outlook.

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