France cuts 2013 debt issuance on lower deficit, buy-backs

PARIS Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:01am EST

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PARIS Dec 20 (Reuters) - France will cut its medium- and long-term debt issuance next year to 169 billion euros, from 178 billion euros in 2012, thanks to a lower budget deficit and debt buybacks, the debt management agency said on Thursday.

Agence France Tresor (AFT) said it had trimmed its issuance plans for 2013 by 1 billion euros from a September forecast thanks to debt buybacks, which allowed it to lower the cost of debt redemptions next year.

AFT chief Philippe Mills said the agency had repurchased 23.5 billion euros of debt this year. That reduced the redemptions of debt maturing in 2013 by 18 billion euros and by more than 5 billion euros in 2014, he said.

Mills said the cost financing in 2012 had fallen to a record low, thanks in part to the the action of ECB and investors confidence in France. The average maturity of French debt remained stable at around 7 years, Mills said.

"In 2013, the most likely scenario from market analysts for interest rates is one of a continued normalisation of the situation in Europe," Mills said.

"The rates of countries regarded as fragile are going to decrease and the rates for core countries will, in the case of Germany increase, and in the case of France probably remain stable or increase slightly," he said.

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