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Athens Exchange hits 3-year high

Eurogroup approved the 8.3 billion euro bailout aid tranche for Greece, sending the Athens Stock Exchange to near a three-year high and trimming the 10-year bond yield to 6.19 per cent

The benchmark 10-year yield tumbled to a fresh four-year low of just 6.19 per cent on Wednesday "burnishing the country’s prospects for a successful bond market return " according to The Financial Times website.

Meanwhile,  Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras expressed his satisfaction with the progress made by the European Union on a banking union plan.

Eurozone finance ministers on Tuesday approved the 8.3 billion euro bailout aid tranche for Greece, sending the Athens Stock Exchange to near a three-year high and trimming the 10-year bond yield by 15 basis points to 6.19 per cent.

Speaking to reporters, in a press conference after chairing the second session of an informal ECOFIN meeting held in Athens , the Greek Finance Minister stressed that banks in Greece and the European Union were safe, underlining that very significant steps have been made towards an ambitious goal of banking union and noted that by mid-April all related regulations would be ready for voting by the European Parliament.

A European Council is expected to ratify these regulations afterwards. The process of banking union will continue under the Italian EU Presidency.

Commenting on Greek banks, Stournaras stressed that from a total of 50 billion euros earmarked for their recapitalisation, 25 billion euros were used for the recapitalisation of systemic banks, 14 billion euros for the liquidation of banks – where necessary - and the remaining 11 billion euros remained as reserve capital at the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund

The Greek FinMin noted that if this money was not needed for bank recapitalisation then they should be used to reduce the country’s debt.