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1st LD Writethru: Greece to make test return to bond markets on July 25: official announcement



ATHENS, July 24 (Xinhua) -- Greece will attempt on Tuesday a test return to bond markets for first time after the summer of 2014, according to an official announcement by the Greek Finance Ministry posted on the website of the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday.
"The Hellenic Republic announces today an invitation to holders of its outstanding 4.75 percent notes due 2019 to tender such Existing Notes for purchase for cash (Switch and Tender Offer)," read the press release.
"The Republic also announces today that it intends to offer new euro-denominated fixed rate notes due 2022 (New Notes Offering)," it added.
BNP Paribas, Citigroup Global Markets Limited, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft, Goldman Sachs International Bank, HSBC Bank plc and Merrill Lynch International have been mandated as Joint Lead Managers for the New Notes Offering, according to the announcement.
Pricing of the New Notes Offering is expected to occur on July 25, 2017, subject to market conditions, with settlement expected to occur on Aug. 1, 2017, according to the press release.
Following the successful completion of the second review of its third bailout since 2010 in June, the Greek government considered issuing a 5-year bond to take advantage of the positive momentum, financial analysts and media in Athens had said in recent weeks.
The Left-led government's target is to secure a lower interest rate than the 4.9 percent Greece secured in 2014 when the previous conservative government had made a test return to capital markets, according to the reports.
"Greece has been shut out of the international capital markets for the past seven years... We will make the decision when we believe we are fully prepared ... We are not interested in public relations stunts," Greek government spokesperson Dimitris Tzanakopoulos had said last week.
The government's main concern is to pave the way for Greece to be able to stand on its own two feet once the current bailout program comes to an end in mid-2018, Tzanakopoulos had stressed.
The step is made as European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici visits Athens on Monday and Tuesday for meetings with the Greek government. Enditem

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