Slovenia says PIMCO bought its November bond issue

LJUBLJANA, April 18 Fri Apr 18, 2014 10:12am EDT

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LJUBLJANA, April 18 (Reuters) - Slovenia's finance ministry said on Friday that Pimco, which runs the world's largest bond fund, bought its closed November bond issue worth 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion).

The 3-year bond yielding 4.7 percent was issued less than a month before Slovenia was due to reveal external stress tests of its banks which would show whether the country could avoid an international bailout.

Slovenia said at the time the bonds were placed with a sole investor but refused to give a name. The national Information Commissioner's office said recently the name had to be revealed in line with citizens' right to information.

No comment was immediately available from Pimco.

In December Slovenia managed to pump some 3.3 billion euros into its troubled banks without seeking help from its euro zone peers or the International Monetary Fund. It has since issued several bonds.

Following the bank overhaul, yields on Slovenia's sovereign bonds have dropped and the country managed to issue a 3-year bond at an interest rate of 1.75 percent earlier this month.

Slovenia was the fastest-growing euro zone member in 2007 when it joined the monetary union but was badly hit by the global crisis due to its dependency on exports.

Its banks, which are mostly state-owned, piled up bad loans through years of reckless lending. ($1 = 0.7228 Euros) (Reporting by Marja Novak; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

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