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Spain to Sell Banks $10.3 Billion of Bonds for Regional Rescue

Spain plans to sell 8 billion euros ($10.3 billion) of bonds in a private placement to banks as part of its efforts to fund a bailout facility for its cash-strapped regions.

In the first stage starting on Sept. 21, it will sell 3 billion euros of a new floating-rate note maturing in 2016 as well as existing securities maturing in 2015 to 2017. The Treasury has “secured commitments by a group of banks” for the deal, it said.

It will raise the remaining 5 billion euros around the middle of October, the Economy Ministry said in a statement in Madrid today. A ministry spokesman declined to comment on whether the agreement with banks had been signed.

Spain created the mechanism in July to allow regions that have lost access to capital markets meet redemptions and other payments. The facility won’t be ready until early October, Deputy Economy Minister Fernando Jimenez Latorre said yesterday, even as regions including Catalonia said they need the cash sooner.

The facility is due to have a total of 18 billion euros, with the state-owned lottery providing a 6 billion-euro loan. The rest will come from the Treasury’s cash reserves.

The Treasury is using a private placement as it wanted to finance the facility without changing its debt issuance calendar for this year, it said.

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