Greece's Titan unlocks bond markets to raise 200 mln euros

ATHENS Thu Jan 3, 2013 6:29am EST

ATHENS Jan 3 (Reuters) - Titan Cement has raised 200 million euros ($265 million) via a bond issue, becoming the first Greek corporate to successfully tap markets since the country's debt crisis erupted in 2010.

The debt crisis resulted in Greek banks losing access to wholesale funding markets, seriously hampering their capacity to lend to businesses.

However, arranger Eurobank believes that the success of the Titan issue could point the way for other businesses in the recession-stricken country.

"Securing medium-term financing from sources other than banks may open access to markets for other Greek corporates, helping to restore liquidity in the economy," the bank said on Thursday.

Eurobank, which jointly arranged the issue with Alpha Bank and Credit Suisse, said that Titan issued four-year paper maturing in January 2017, paying 8.75 percent.

Part of the proceeds will be used to repay a previous issue maturing in July 2013.

Eurobank said that the issue was oversubscribed, with strong interest from private banking clients.

Titan, which has a "BB-" Standard & Poor's credit rating, derives about a third of its revenue from the Greek market, where construction activity has ground to a half because of a deep and protracted recession.

The group also has operations in Egypt and the U.S. (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by David Goodman)

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