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Portuguese Bond Trading Declines to Lowest Since at Least 2000

Portuguese government bond trading in the secondary market dropped to an average 3 million euros ($3.8 million) a day in July, the lowest since at least 2000, from 15 million euros in June.

Turnover of the securities averaged 46 million euros a day in July 2011 and 185 million euros in July 2010, government debt agency IGCP said on its website.

Trading of treasury bills increased to an average of 27 million euros a day last month from 23 million euros in June and from 13 million euros in July 2011.

Portugal last year followed Greece and Ireland in requesting a bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, and Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho aims to regain access to bond markets by September 2013. In the first seven months of 2012, Portuguese debt returned 28 percent, the most of 26 markets tracked by indexes compiled by Bloomberg and the European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies.

The fifth quarterly review of Portugal’s aid program starts tomorrow and Passos Coelho said on June 29 that it will focus on the planned return to bond markets in 2013. Portugal is “sounding out” the market as it prepares to resume sales of medium-term notes, Joao Moreira Rato, chairman of the country’s debt agency, said in an interview last month.

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