Slovenia could issue further 1.4 bln euros of debt this year


LJUBLJANA, July 17 (Reuters) - Slovenia could issue another 1.4 billion euros ($1.60 billion) of debt this year, after issuing some 6 billion euros in bonds so far in 2020, the Finance Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

The ministry said financial markets have assessed Slovenia's reaction to the coronavirus crisis "very positively", noting that the yield on its 10-year benchmark bond has decreased to 0.1%. According to Reuters data, the yield stood at 0.9% on April 23, its the highest this year.

Stable public finances and liquid banks would assist a rapid rebound in the country's economy, it said.

The government has so far spent more than 1 billion euros on financial help to citizens and companies hit by the coronavirus.

It introduced a general lockdown in the middle of March and started to lift it gradually from April 20. It has so far reported 1,916 coronavirus cases and 111 deaths.

The Bank of Slovenia said in a separate statement on Friday that economic prospects had improved at the end of the second quarter of this year, after hitting the bottom in April.

The government expects the economy to shrink by 7.6% this year due to the epidemic, but sees growth of 4.5% next year. ($1 = 0.8744 euros)

(Reporting By Marja Novak; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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