Men wearing a face mask walk past a closed restaurant in central Rome, Italy, May 21 2020. Picture: TIZIANA FABI / AFP
Men wearing a face mask walk past a closed restaurant in central Rome, Italy, May 21 2020. Picture: TIZIANA FABI / AFP

Rome — A bond sale that amounted to a vote on Rome’s handling of the economic crisis has been a success.

The four-day auction of inflation-linked bonds aimed primarily at the retail market ended on Thursday, with institutional orders exceeding €19bn, according to two people familiar with the matter, who declined to be identified because they aren’t authorised to speak publicly about the matter.

The nation accepted €8.3bn from institutional investors, a little over 40% of their bids. The five-year notes, intended for “Covid-19 emergency”, will have a final coupon of 1.4%.

It is the second time as many months that orders for an Italian bond sale were sizable. With the European Central Bank backstopping the eurozone’s securities, demand for the nation’s debt is high, even after Italy boosted supply to help fund its economic relief programmes.

Retail offerings are not always successful, as evinced by a November 2018 issue, which saw domestic investors give a resounding thumbs-down to the new coalition government’s funding efforts. Meanwhile, a similar sale in October raised almost €7bn.

The yield on Italy’s five-year securities rose five basis points to 1.13%.

Bloomberg