LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal has sold its debt on financial markets for the first time since it needed a bailout, collecting €2.5 billion ($3.3 billion) in an auction of five-year bonds.
Treasury secretary Maria Luis Albuquerque said Portugal will pay interest of 4.9 percent on the loan — an affordable rate and a sign of returning market confidence in Portugal. She said international investors placed orders for more than €12 billion.
The sale is a milestone in Portugal's recovery efforts and the latest sign that the euro area is over the worst of its three-year financial crisis.
Portugal required a €78 billion lifeline in May 2011 to avert bankruptcy. The country's fiscal health has improved since it began enacting reforms demanded in return for the bailout.