(Bloomberg) -- The European Union sold short-dated bills for the first time on Wednesday, bringing another type of debt instrument into its expanding portfolio of tools. 

The bloc sold 3 billion euros ($3.5 billion) of 77-day bills at an average yield of -0.726%, and 2 billion euros of 168-day bills at -0.733%. The three-month securities had a bid-to-cover rate of 3.39, while the six-month securities were more oversubscribed at 5.76. The EU plans to sell the tenors on the first and third Wednesday of each month, with other maturities up to one year possible but not yet considered.

It’s the latest innovation in a program that aims to raise about 800 billion euros of debt over five years to finance grants and loans to member states. Almost a third of that amount will be in green bonds, which the bloc will start to sell in October. 

Selling bills allows the EU to establish a presence in the deep and liquid money market, something officials sought as a quick way to raise cash as its bond program develops. It also brings it further in line with major sovereign issuers. 

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