* More than 5 bln euros in T-bills due on Nov. 16
* Greece expects aid tranche only after bills mature
* ECB expected to let Greece raise ceiling on amount of
By Lefteris Papadimas
ATHENS, Nov 9 Greece will roll over 5 billion
euros in treasury bills that mature on Nov. 16 because of a
likely delay in getting the next tranche of its international
bailout, a finance ministry official said on Friday.
The government narrowly approved austerity and labour
reforms this week, boosting its effort to unlock the 31.5
billion euro loan Athens needs to pay off debt and shore up its
banks. It is also expected to pass the 2013 budget on Sunday.
But a senior European Union official said on Friday euro
zone finance ministers were unlikely to make a final decision on
delivering the loan at a Monday meeting since a report on
whether the country's debt was sustainable was not yet ready.
Too cash-starved to redeem the bills outright, the country's
debt agency announced it would auction off 1 billion euros in
three month treasury bills and 2.125 billion in four-week papers
on Nov. 13.
The issue is above the normal amount of 1 to 2 billion
euros, and the debt agency will follow up with supplementary
sales to gain the full 5 billion euros to roll over the notes
"We will get 5 billion," said a Greek official, who declined
to be named.
Asked about a possible delay in the release of aid, Greek
Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said the country had "no
reason for worry".
"Greece is doing whatever it should be doing, and Europe is
doing what it should be doing ... and the tranche will be
released," he said.
The EU official said euro zone ministers were aware that
Greece needed money to redeem several billion euros worth of
treasury bills and were taking that into account in their
discussions. There would be no default, accidental or otherwise
over the Nov. 16 redemption, the official said.
"The debt sustainability analysis is an integral part of the
compliance report of the troika and only once there is agreement
that the evolution of debt to GDP ratio over a given time period
is sustainable, then and only then can we say that we are
prepared to disburse," the official said.
In August, Athens increased the size of its monthly T-bill
auction after the European Central Bank agreed to raise the
ceiling on the amount of such bills the Bank of Greece can
accept as collateral in exchange for emergency loans.
That gave the government access to up to an extra 4 billion
euros of funds. Greek banks taking up the bulk of T-bill issues
can park the paper at the local central bank to tap its
emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) window.
The ECB is expected to allow Greece to raise that ceiling
again so that it can cover the bills coming due next week,