Cyprus official: Lowest-ever interest rate on bond issue

Cyprus' finance minister says the country has managed to secure the lowest-ever interest rate on a public bond issue, hailing it as a strong signal of trust from international markets in the Cypriot economy.

Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said Tuesday's seven-year bond issue raised 850 million euros ($948 million), carrying a 2.75 percent interest rate.

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He says the money will be used to pay off older loans with higher interest rates. These include a 288 million euro ($321 million) loan from the International Monetary Fund that carried a 3.52 percent interest rate.

Georgiades says the significant savings in interest rate payments will be channeled to bolster the economy.

Cyprus last year wrapped up a three-year, multibillion-euro rescue deal from international creditors that saved it from bankruptcy.