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Spain Tops Target at Bill Sale as Greece Eases Funding

Spain Sells EU4.09 Billion of Bills; Maximum Target EU4 Billion
Spanish national flags fly outside the Bank of Spain headquarters in Madrid. Photographer: Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg

Spain sold 4.09 billion euros ($5.3 billion) of bills, beating its maximum target, and its borrowing costs fell after European finance ministers agreed to ease the terms on Greece’s aid program.

The Treasury in Madrid, which set an upper goal for the sale of 4 billion euros, sold three-month bills today at an average 1.254 percent, compared with 1.415 percent on Oct. 23, and six-month debt at 1.669 percent, down from 2.023 percent.

Demand for the three-month debt was 3.52 times the amount sold, compared with 4.32 last month, and the ratio rose to 2.3 from 1.99 on the longer-dated securities, the Treasury said.

Spain has already sold all the bonds it planned to auction this year and is building a funding buffer for 2013 as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy tries to avoid a European bailout. European finance ministers’ move today to loosen the terms on Greece’s bailout loans, the latest effort to keep the nation in the euro, eased pressure on Spanish bond yields.

Spain’s 10-year benchmark bond yield fell to 5.614 percent at 10:45 a.m. in Madrid from 5.62 percent yesterday. That compares with a euro-era record of 7.75 percent on July 25, before European Central Bank President Mario Draghi offered to buy the bonds of euro nations that sign up to a bailout from the euro-region’s government-led bailout fund.

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