Greece is in "no hurry" to tap markets with a five-year bond sale whichreports said could come as early as this week, Finance Minister Yannis Stournarassaid on Monday.“There is no hurry. Besides we do not need the money," Stournaras told To Vimaradio in an interview."We are doing this as a test, to smooth the interest rate curve," Stournaras said.Greek media had earlier reported that the bond issue -- Greece's first since the crisis-- was likely to come before a scheduled Athens visit by German Chancellor AngelaMerkel on Friday.In a separate statement, the finance ministry said the reports had "no bearing onreality."The Greek debt agency could not be reached for comment.The minister last week said "a small issuance of bonds, 3-5 year bonds" would takeplace by June.
Athens has said it intends to raise 1.5-2.0 billion euros ($2-3 billion).“After four years of being shut out from the markets, being unable to borrow, we areslowly starting to test our return,” Stournaras said Monday.“It will depend on the conditions," he told To Vima. "We will (tap the markets) bysummer, in the first semester. I can’t say anything more."Greek borrowing rates have dipped to the lowest point since the country nearly wentbankrupt in 2010 and had to be rescued by the European Union and theInternational Monetary Fund with two multi-billion-euro bailouts.Greek 10-year bonds are now trading at a yield of just over six percent.