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JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank Said to Manage Potential Greek Bond Sale

Greece tapped JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Deutsche Bank AG to manage an expected debt offering as it seeks a return to the capital markets, according to people with knowledge of the transaction.

The firms will underwrite the deal as the nation with the worst jobless rate in the euro area attempts to sell bonds for the first time since being shut out in early 2010, said the people, who asked not to be identified, citing lack of authorization to speak publicly.

Greece’s Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras suggested last week that the government would issue notes in the first half of 2014.

Growing confidence among officials on the prospect of selling debt has risen as bond yields have fallen to a four-year low. Their optimism rests on the premise of persuading investors that Greece will shake off a six-year recession.

The yield on Greek 10-year bonds has dropped below 6.2 percent from more than 30 percent in 2012. Greek securities have returned 31 percent this year, the best performance among the 34 sovereign debt markets tracked by the Bloomberg World Bond Indexes.

Germany has welcomed the planned bond sale as evidence that “confidence of the financial markets is returning” to Greece, Nadine Kalwey, a spokeswoman for Germany’s Finance Ministry, said yesterday.

Greece’s financing situation has already benefited from a budget surplus before interest costs of almost 3 billion euros ($4.1 billion), which the government expects the European Union’s statistics agency to confirm this month.

Last week, three officials said that the government planned to sell 2 billion euros of bonds.

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