Washington: The International Monetary Fund has reiterated that it has not entered into any talks with Italy or Spain on helping finance their needs, as both continued to face pressure on bond markets.
“The IMF wishes to reaffirm that there are no discussions with the Italian nor Spanish authorities on any form of IMF financing,” said IMF spokesman Gerry Rice in a statement on Tuesday.
The statement, repeating what the Fund had already said on Sunday and Monday, came amid continuing speculation that it would intervene to assist the new governments in both Rome and Madrid as nervous debt markets challenge their ability to continue financing deficits.
Earlier on Tuesday Italy paid record rates to borrow €7.5 billion ($10 billion) especially for shorter-term money, in a clear danger signal from the markets.
The yield on bonds maturing in 2014 shot up to 7.89% from 4.93%, higher than the soaring borrowing rates that sent Ireland, Portugal and Greece running for joint IMF-European Union rescues in the past year.
Even so, the euro and European stock markets rose after Italy’s bond auction, apparently satisfied simply that it was able to find buyers.
In an attempt to win back investor confidence, Prime Minister Mario Monti’s government is set to announce new measures at the beginning of next week, aimed at balancing the budget by 2013 and relaunching the country’s anaemic growth.