Italy Pays Most Since May to Sell Six-Month Debt at Bill Sale

Italy paid the most since May to sell six-month debt at a bill auction today amid concerns a fall in bank lending will make it difficult for the country to emerge from its longest slump since World War II.

The Rome-based Treasury sold 6.5 billion euros ($8.3 billion) of 181-day bills at 0.379 percent, the most since May 28 and up from 0.232 percent for a similar security at the previous sale Sept. 26. Investors bid for 1.73 times the amount sold compared with 1.85 last month. Italy redeems 7 billion euros of bills Oct. 31.

Italy’s 10-year yield rose the most in a week Oct. 27 after the country’s banks showed the largest combined capital shortfall in the European Central Bank’s review of the region’s lenders.

The yield on Italian 10-year bonds fell 4 basis points to 2.49 percent at 11:12 a.m. local time today.

Italy will sell up to 7.25 billion euros of debt tomorrow, including five- and 10-year bonds as well as floating notes maturing in Dec. 2020.

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