By Sara Rossi
MILAN (Reuters) - Italy will launch its second BTP Valore bond reserved for retail investors on Monday as it seeks to boost domestic holdings of its debt.
The Treasury attracted more than 18 billion euros in June for its debut "BTP Valore" issue, setting a fresh record for Italian retail bonds.
The government is trying to lure small savers frustrated by low-yielding bank accounts and seeking higher returns for their cash in the face of rising inflation and interest rates.
According to several market sources, the new 5-year note -offering a 0.5% loyalty bonus - will attract orders worth around 10 billion euros ($10.56 billion).
J.P. Morgan said in a report on Friday it expected it to raise 10-12 billion.
The Treasury on Friday set a minimum guaranteed coupon at 4.1% for the first three years, and 4.5% for the last two, under a 'step-up' mechanism.
The note's "final, total yield to maturity is substantially higher compared with 5-yr BTP bond yields (on the secondary market)," said Antonio Cesarano, Chief Global Strategist at Intermonte.
On Friday, the Italian 5-yr BTP bond yield stood at around 4.2%.
The BTP Valore offer comes as Italy is under growing market scrutiny, with Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni preparing a difficult 2024 budget and investors dismayed by recent government moves affecting sectors from banks to airlines.
Last week, Rome cut its growth forecasts for this year and next and hiked its budget deficit targets, raising concerns over its strained public finances and debt trajectory.
The closely-watched gap between German and Italian 10-year bond yields last week briefly touched 200 basis points, the widest since March, with Italian 10-year yields hitting their highest level since November 2012.
The BTP Valore retail bond will offer quarterly coupon payments.
Italy is not the only country trying to lure retail savers. Last month, Belgium raised a record 21.9 billion euros with a similar issue designed to compete with bank deposits.
($1 = 0.9471 euros)
(Reporting by Sara Rossi, editing by Gavin Jones)