"You can measure the success of this operation at two levels: on the one hand, the level of demand that the international market has shown for the region's debt and, on the other hand, the cost to be borne,” a note from the government’s media office, quoted the region’s premier, Vasco Cordeiro, as saying.

According to Cordeiro, the average yield in the operation to place the 10-year bonds with investors was 1.006%, marking “the first time the region has obtained such a low fixed rate."

The autonomous region was seeking to raise €223.5 million euros (€163.5 million of it to refinance existing debt), but demand totalled €344 million, meaning that investors had to be satisfied with only a proportion of the debt they had sought - with additional benefits for the region, according to the regional government.

The operation will bring savings of more than €2 million per year to the refinancing component, according to Cordeiro.

"There is a overall reading that can be made of the success of this operation,” he said. “The interest of international markets for the region’s bond is revealing of the credibility of its public accounts and the capacity that the region demonstrates it has to honour its financial commitments."

Credit rating agencies Fitch and DBRS this month issued their first ratings for Azores regional debt. Both assigned it the ‘BBB-’ label, corresponding to an external investment level, below that of Portugal’s sovereign debt.