Greece returns from exile –


* Bonds
    * Sovereign finds support from investors despite challenges

    By Alice Gledhill and Helene DurandLONDON, July 28 (IFR) - Greece last week gathered enough
investor goodwill to sell its first bond in three years, a €3bn
five-year issue that it hopes will lay the foundations for
future trades as it weans itself off external aid.
    The deal, comprising a tender offer and new money element,
attracted over €6.2bn of demand and is the second attempt by the
sovereign to rehabilitate itself and stand on its own two feet
in the bond market.
    It was a particularly important step for Greece given its
third bailout is due to expire in mid-2018, and it looked to
capitalise on the progress made in recent years since the height
of its debt crisis.
    "The lead managers and the Greek treasury officials should
be applauded for taking the opportunity to tap the markets
successfully, as being able to fund independently of external
aid is an absolute priority for recovering nations," said Mark
Holman, CEO at Twenty Four Asset Management.
    The deal for the Caa2/B-/CCC/CCCH rated sovereign came with
a yield of 4.625%, the tight end of the 4.875%-area initial
price thoughts and 4.75%-area guidance.
    This was inside the reoffer level of Greece's last five-year
outing in 2014 when it priced a €3bn April 2019 at a 4.95%
yield, but drew over €20bn in orders from 600 investors. That
2019 bond had been trading at a record low yield - inside 3.5%,
according to Thomson Reuters data.
    Despite the much smaller order book, the leads deemed the
trade a success.
    "The 2014 trade was their first re-entry trade, it was a
massive speculation bid to get involved and get some upside,"
said a banker at one of the leads.
    "This time, it was more a genuine desire to get back
involved with the story and actually own the bonds. We had a

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