ATHENS, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Greece raised 1.5 billion euros (2.04 billion U.S dollars) from the sale of three-year state bonds, securing a 3.5 percent interest rate "despite an extremely negative climate yesterday and today in international financing markets," Greek Finance Ministry announced on Thursday.
Athens had announced on Wednesday that it mandated international banks for the sale of a total of 3 billion euros worth of bonds "in the near future."
It was the second time the country returned to international markets this year. In April in the first bond sale since the start of the debt crisis and the lock-out of financing markets in 2010, Greece sold 3 billion euros worth of five-year bonds with interest rate at less than 5 percent.
Greek officials see the gradual return to the markets as another strong indication that Greece is exiting the crisis and returning to growth.
"The government expresses its satisfaction that once again foreign investors showed their confidence in Greek economy," the ministry's statement stressed.