January 03, 2013

Italy Looks to Be Out Of the Woods for 2012 with Long Term Bond Sale

More good news for the Euro following the resolution of the Greek bailout deal

It’s not too long ago that much of the Eurozone was concerned that Italy was being pushed towards the brink of having to ask for a bailout, but today’s expected sale of long term bonds suggests that Italy’s economy is safe for this year, and this is the final step in safeguarding it for the near future.

Italy is the Eurozone’s third largest economy, and its sovereign debt has been weighing heavily on the minds of ministers and analysts alike. This bond sale is expected to help the country towards lower borrowing next year. Experts suggest this could be as much as 10% lower if things prove to be successful. If correct, this will be an extremely important factor in stabilising the economy, and there is certainly reason for Rome to have a positive outlook.

From the Euro’s point of view, this is another country that looks to be secure, and with Greece making progress, many expect forex trading to start picking up as the EUR breaks above its current restricted level.

The overall aim for the bond sale is to bring Rome’s borrowing to the desired level of 465 billion euros; their target for 2012. This will be done through the auction of 6 billion in bonds of both five and ten years.

Last November saw Rome in a very poor state, with the treasury paying record percentages in order to draw the bids on 10 year bonds. Things are expected to be much better this time round, under Mario Monti.

The ECB (European Central Bank) has recently promised to buy three year bonds, which has certainly been popular among struggling countries in southern Europe. The outcome of the auction of the ten year bonds however, is what people are really interested in, as this is a far better indicator of how risky Italy is to lend to.

10 year bonds have hit their lowest level since last year, with experts asserting that this means that the Central Bank is viewing the Italian economy in a more positive light. This is further confirmation in Rome that things have been better since Berlusconi left office.

The more long term plan includes the auction of both 15 and 30 year bonds next year, with the aim of bringing borrowing down to 420 billion. There are many experts who do not believe that Rome will manage this however, though a good decrease in debt is certainly on the table.

Things aren’t completely secure yet of course. The first quarter of 2013 will still see caution, as the upcoming general election, which could signal significant changes, doesn’t happen until March.

The bonds are also unlikely to be particularly attractive to foreign investors, who are likely still concerned with the issue of Greece, and general Eurozone problems. The bailout for Athens may have been agreed, but things are still critical. It remains to be seen whether Italy really can cope with its incredible 2 trillion debts.

About the Author: Corey Fish is a finance writer with a particular interest in global economics. To go alongside financial writing, Corey is a keen Mathematician and studied for a Mathematics degree at the University of East Anglia.

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