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Greek bond issue raises 3 billion euros

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greece's finance ministry says its first return to the markets in four years has seen strong demand, with the country raising 3 billion euros through five-year bonds at a coupon rate of 4.75 percent.

The ministry said in a statement that nearly 90 percent of the sale was to international investors.

Thursday's bond sale is Greece's first since 2010, when it became locked out of the international debt market by excessively high interest rates due to a severe financial crisis. It has been relying on international bailout funds ever since.

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