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Greece raises 4.062bn euros in bond sale

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ATHENS, Nov 13 AFP

November 13 2012, 10:31PM

Greece has raised 4.062.5 billion euros ($A4.99 billion) to avert a messy default this week.

The fresh funds plug a financing gap left by a stalled EU-IMF loan which risks triggering default on a short-term debt settlement on Friday.

The Tuesday sale raised 2.762.5 billion euros in one-month treasury bills at an interest rate of 3.95 per cent and a further 1.3 billion euros in three-month bills at 4.2 per cent.

In the October auction of a three month debt issue, the agency had raised 1.625 billion euros at an interest rate of 4.24 per cent, but the stakes are higher now.

Greece needed the money to repay five billion euros from a prior three-month debt issue that matures on Friday.

That treasury bill had been auctioned in August to enable the country to pay state salaries and pensions in the absence of a scheduled loan payment from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Worth 31.2 billion euros overall, the loan payment was supposed to have been disbursed by July but was held back on reform delays and protracted political uncertainty after a four-month electoral campaign in Greece.

The release of these funds, which are part of Greece's second EU-IMF financial assistance package, is still pending.

Tuesday's sale is nearly a billion short of the required sum for Friday's treasury bill repayment.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras flew to Brussels on Tuesday for talks with President Jose Manuel Barroso and EU President Herman Van Rompuy.

"We did our part. Now we wait for Europe to make its own move," Samaras said in off-camera comments to journalists on Monday, dailies here reported.

Eurozone finance ministers will meet on November 20 to discuss whether Athens will at last be given the urgently needed funds.