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Portugal sells 1.25 bn euros treasuries ahead of bailout exit

Portugal on Wednesday auctioned 1.25 billion euros of short-term debt as it seeks to shore up its finances ahead of exiting its international aid programme next month. Lisbon sold 925 million euros' worth ($1.28 billion) of year-dated treasuries at 0.597 percent interest, down from 0.602 percent in March, the state debt management agency said. Portugal's IGCP agency also sold 325 million euros of nine-month treasuries at 0.487 percent, a sharp drop compared to the 1.714 percent it paid in October.

Italy, Spain shine as Ukraine crisis hots up

LONDON (Reuters) - Italian and Spanish yields dipped on Wednesday morning, offering a combination of relatively safe and high returns that continued to attract investors with one eye on the developing crisis in Ukraine. Italian yields nudged back near record lows while Spanish paper was at 8-1/2-year lows. Both are likely to benefit from any asset purchase program the European Central Bank might introduce.

Greek tourism arrivals up 15.5 pct in 2013: official data

Tourist arrivals in Greece increased by 15.5 percent in 2013, the state statistics agency said Monday, a year when the country stabilised its shaky economy and avoided a messy exit from the euro. Overall, there were over 17.9 million arrivals between January and December last year compared to 15.5 million in 2012, the agency said. Most foreign arrivals -- 88.1 percent -- came from elsewhere in Europe, a figure which rose 13.9 percent year-on-year, including a 7.5-percent increase from EU states, the agency said.

Greece to issue more bonds after sale success

Greece will issue more bonds after last week's successful five-year debt sale that ended a four-year drought, the head of the debt agency said on Sunday. "The bond sale was just the first step," Stelios Papadopoulos, head of the public debt management agency (PDMA) told Kathimerini daily. Greece on Thursday raised 3.0 billion euros ($4.2 billion) at under 5.0 percent interest, a move welcomed by its EU-IMF creditors.

Greece's Eurobank to seek 2.86-bn euro capital hike

Greece's Eurobank on Saturday said its board had approved a 2.86-billion-euro ($4-billion) capital increase, in the latest move by one of the country's biggest lenders to bolster its reserves. "The general meeting approved...the increase of the share capital of the bank by up to 2.864 billion euros," the bank said in a statement. Up to 9.54 billion in new shares will be issued and according to reports, the capital hike is expected to be completed by May.

Merkel sees 'renewed confidence' in Greece after bond issue

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday said Greece's buoyant return to the bond markets showed investors' "renewed confidence" in the crisis-hit country, and pledged to back Athens on its path of reforms. "I'm delighted, this ... is proof of renewed confidence in Greece," Merkel told a press conference during her second visit to Athens in two years.

Merkel a 'believer' in Greece after tough reforms

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday said she "firmly believed" there was untapped potential in Greece after years of tough austerity reforms that culminated in a bond comeback this week. "I firmly believe that after a very, very tough phase, this country harbours boundless possibilities still to be exploited," Merkel told a group of young Greek entrepreneurs at the start of a one-day visit to Athens. Merkel is in Greece for the second time in two years to applaud reform efforts, a day after the crisis-hit eurozone economy made a triumphant return to bond markets.

Merkel a 'believer' in Greece after tough reforms

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday said she "firmly believed" there was untapped potential in Greece after years of tough austerity reforms that culminated in a bond comeback this week. "I firmly believe that after a very, very tough phase, this country harbours boundless possibilities still to be exploited," Merkel told a group of young Greek entrepreneurs at the start of a one-day visit to Athens. Merkel is in Greece for the second time in two years to applaud reform efforts, a day after the crisis-hit eurozone economy made a triumphant return to bond markets.

Ukraine worries cloud IMF/World Bank meetings

The United States delivered a stern warning to Russia Thursday at the World Bank/IMF meetings in Washington amid worries that a spiralling Ukraine crisis could hurt the world economy. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew told his Russian counterpart Finance Minister Anton Siluanov that in addition to the actions following last month's Crimea annexation, "the United States is prepared to impose additional significant sanctions on Russia if it continues to escalate the situation in Ukraine," the Treasury said.

Greece set for milestone return to bond markets

Greece was set on Thursday for a milestone return to bond markets with a five-year debt sale which also sends a major signal that the eurozone debt crisis is fading. The debt issue comes four years after Greece was rescued from impending bankruptcy and was frozen out of borrowing normally. Hours before the sale, a powerful car bomb exploded outside the Bank of Greece in central Athens but nobody was hurt as police had time to clear the area.
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