December 3, 2018 / 1:42 PM / 7 days ago

Italy considering buybacks or exchanges on government bonds before year-end -sources

MILAN, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Italy’s Treasury is considering whether to exchange or buy back government bonds to lower the amount of debt maturing in certain months of next year, two sources said on Monday.

Italy needs to raise around 400 billion euros ($453 billion) in 2019 to refinance maturing debt and cover for new spending, as the European Central Bank prepares to withdraw support by ending its bond-buying programme by the end of this month. .

“The Treasury is working on something to smoothen 2019 maturities given that market volatility has come down and market conditions for Italian debt have improved in recent sessions,” one of the sources said.

$1 = 0.8822 euros Reporting by Elvira Pollina and Giulio Piovaccari, editing by Agnieszka Flak

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