Greece is planning its first 10-year bond issue since 2010, when the country plunged into a deep crisis that required successive international financial rescue packages (LOUISA GOULIAMAKI)

Athens (AFP) – Greece is setting the stage for a 10-year bond issue, the country’s first since its 2010 debt crisis, with a mandate given to six major banks, the Athens stock exchange said Monday.

Greece “has mandated BNP Paribas, Citi, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs International Bank, HSBC and J.P. Morgan as joint lead managers for a new Euro-denominated offering” with a maturity of 10 years, the exchange said in a statement.

Sources close to the financial sector said the issue could amount to around 2.5 billion euros ($2.8 billion) at a rate of about 4.0 percent.

The statement was released three days after ratings agency Moody’s raised Greece’s sovereign debt rating by two notches from B3 to B1, “a rise that helps this issue” even though Greek debt remains below investment grade, noted economics professor Panayiotis Petrakis at the University of Athens.

It would mark the first 10-year Greek issue since 2010, when the country plunged into a deep crisis that required successive international financial rescue packages.

Greece exited its third and final international bailout in August 2018, a milestone in its progress from the catastrophe that had engulfed the country.

The International Monetary Fund has forecast growth of 2.4 percent in Greece for 2019.

Last week, the European Union nonetheless pressed Greece to complete all the reforms it has promised to creditors.

The EU warned that the Greek economy still faces “vulnerabilities” linked to high government debt, non-performing loans and high unemployment.

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