Bailed-out Portugal has taken advantage of growing investor confidence in its economic prospects and raised 3.25 billion euros ($4.4 billion) in a sale of five-year government bonds.

In 2011, Portugal became the third country that uses to euro to get an international rescue to avoid bankruptcy. In return for a 78 billion-euro ($106 billion) bailout, Portugal accepted a three-year austerity program to heal its finances.

The evidence, at least in the markets, suggests that the strategy is working. The yields, or interest rates, that Europe's troubled economies pay on their loans have fallen steeply as investors have become more optimistic.

Finance Minister Maria Luis Albuquerque said Thursday there was demand for 11 billion euros of bonds in the "very successful" sale. The yield was an affordable 4.657 percent.