Sovereign Trio May Offer Wide Risk Range to Euro Bond Investors

(Bloomberg) -- Austria, Belgium and Greece are all preparing to sell new bonds, giving investors a choice of European sovereign offerings from across the credit spectrum.

At the risky end, Greece -- rated six steps below investment grade at Moody’s Investors Service -- issued a mandate for a note due in April 2024, according to a person familiar with matter, who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to discuss it publicly. Near-top rated Austria is planning a 10-year deal, while mid-investment grade Belgium is readying a 2050 bond, people said.

Investors have shown strong appetite for euro sovereign sales this year, including 10-billion euro ($11.4 billion) offerings from Spain and Italy -- both rated within the three lowest investment grades at Moody’s. Overall, eight governments have issued 39.3 billion euros of bonds in the single currency this year, compared with 47.7 billion euros in the whole of January of 2018, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Belgium’s planned offering will the country’s second trip to market this month, following a 6 billion-euro 2029 sale on Jan. 8. Greece last sold euro bonds about a year ago. Yields on the 2025 notes have widened to about 3.7 percent after pricing at 3.5 percent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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