Italy pays higher borrowing rates in bond sale

Italian Democratic party leader Pier Luigi Bersani speaks to reporters in Rome Saturday, March 23, 2013. Italy's president has tapped center-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani to form a new government following national elections that produced no clear winner. Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said Friday that Bersani was best positioned to create a government given "the most difficult circumstances." Bersani's coalition won control of the lower house but not enough seats to control the Senate, creating political gridlock. (AP Photo/Mauro Scrobogna, Lapresse)

MILAN (AP) — Italy has paid slightly higher interest rates to raise 3.8 billion euros ($4.9 billion) in bond sales amid political uncertainty.

The treasury paid a rate of 1.75 percent in the sale Monday of 2.8 billion euros in 12-month bonds, up from 1.68 percent at the last such auction last month.

It raised another 990 million euros in the sale of 15-year and 5-year bonds. Though demand was strong — more than double the amount offered for the longer-term bonds — Italy did not raise as much as it could have because of higher interest rates.

Center-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani is holding consultations on forming a new government following elections last month that ended with no clear winner. He is expected to announce his results in coming days.