by Maria Spiliopoulou
ATHENS, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- The Greek state moves forward in the issuance of a new seven-year state bond, Greek national news agency AMNA reported on Monday.
Greek authorities hired five banks (Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citi, J.P. Morgan and Nomura) for the transaction, and intend to raise at least 3 billion euros (3.7 billion U.S. dollars), according to the report.
Details on the process were due in coming hours, according to AMNA.
It is the third major test return to markets Greece made in the past eight months, as the country prepares to exit the third bailout this summer.
Last July Greece raised three billion euros selling five-year state bonds at a 4.625 percent interest rate in what was the country's first test return to international bond markets in three years.
In November, Athens completed a state bond swap program worth 25.47 billion euros.
The sum raised from the new bond issue are expected to be used as a cash buffer after the end of the bailout.
The debt-ridden country has been shut out of international markets since 2010 and is expected to fully return to the markets after the end of the program. (1 euro= 1.24 U.S. dollars)