Slovenia raises 1.1 billion euros in treasury bills

Slovenia raised 1.1 billion euros ($1.4 billion), over twice what was expected, at a treasury bill auction on Wednesday, despite speculations the eurozone country could be the next in line for bailout.

The country sold the 18-month treasury bills at an average interest rate of 4.15 percent, 0.16 percentage points higher than at the last auction of 18-month bills in December 2011.

The finance ministry had initially expected to raise only about 500 million euros to refinance a previous emission of treasury bills that will expire in June.

In comparison, Slovenia raised 56.1 million euros instead of the expected 100 million euros at an auction of six- and 12-month treasury bills last week. The bills were also sold at considerably higher rates than planned.

A severe recession and a mountain of bad debts at its banks have raised concerns that Slovenia, once a model newcomer to the European Union, may be the next eurozone member after Cyprus to need a bailout.

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