January 30, 2013 / 7:56 PM / in 4 years

Greek telecoms firm OTE raises 700 mln euros from bond market

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ATHENS, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Greece's biggest telecoms company OTE said on Wednesday it sold 700 million euros ($950 million) of new bonds, in a sign of debt markets gradually opening for the cash-strapped country's firms.

OTE's five-year bonds will pay a fixed coupon of 7.875 percent. The company said earlier this week the fresh debt would help fund a planned buyback of bonds maturing in 2013 and 2014, which pay a coupon of about 5 and 7.25 percent respectively.

OTE is the latest Greek firm to announce it is refinancing debt as conditions improve after Athens secured fresh bailout funds from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. This allows OTE to push back debt repayments further into the future when the country's economy may have emerged from recession.

With about 1.8 billion euros of debt maturing early next year amid a deep austerity in its two biggest markets, Greece and Romania, OTE has declared cost cuts and debt reduction as a major goal. It plans to sell its satellite unit HellasSat and its Bulgarian cell phone subsidiary Globul later this year to reduce its borrowings.

OTE is 40-percent owned and managed by Germany's Deutsche Telekom. ($1 = 0.7370 euros) (Reporting by Harry Papachristou; Editing by David Holmes and Leslie Gevirtz)

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