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Best borrowers 2014: Peripheral sovereigns stage a comeback

The hunt for yield has prompted a remarkable reversal of fortune for several sovereign borrowers in this year’s Euromoney survey. Those that have grasped the opportunity have reaped the rewards.

In April, Greece attracted €20 billion of orders for a €3 billion five-year issue offering 4.95%. Such an outcome would have been unthinkable a year ago and is only the most extreme example of the near-perfect funding conditions now enjoyed by many peripheral sovereign borrowers that were locked out of the market until recently. It is also an indication of the pent-up demand for sovereign paper offering yield when such sovereigns as Spain and Italy are now offering a fraction of what they were two years ago. Yields on Spain’s 10-year bonds dropped below 3% for the first time in late May, offering just 2.97%. In June 2012 the 10-year had offered 7.1%.

Reinvigorated investor appetite for peripheral borrowers is reflected in this year’s best borrowers survey, in which several sovereigns have made big strides. Spain jumps from a ranking of 12 in 2013 to 6 this year, although Italy has slipped one place from 8 to 9. Most striking is the performance of Ireland, which returned to the markets with a €5 billion 10-year deal in March this year.

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