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France Sells EUR 7.973 Bln Bonds

France saw strong demand for its debt in an auction on Thursday, but the country's five-year borrowing costs increased.

The Agence France Tresor raised EUR 7.973 billion from the sale of its medium term debt, which was close to the maximum target of EUR 8 billion set for the sale.

The yield on the February 2017 treasury notes known as BTANs rose to 1.83 percent from 1.78 percent in the previous sale in March. The bid-to-cover ratio rose to 2.69 from 1.98.

The agency placed the 2-year BTAN at 0.85 percent yield. Demand was 2.29 times the offer. The April 2015 bond was sold at 1.06 percent. The debt attracted 3 times demand.

France also sold an inflation index bond due July 2018 at 0.54 percent yield and 1.66 percent bid-to-cover ratio.

The country is set to hold its first round of presidential polls on April 22 and the second round is scheduled for May 6. Socialist Francois Hollande is expected to beat the conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy in the race.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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