Greece eyes Novem­ber time­frame for bond swap

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

Greece is eye­ing a Novem­ber time­frame to launch a swap of 20 small bonds for four new ones ahead of its sched­uled emer­gence from its bailout pro­gram next sum­mer, bankers said yes­ter­day. The coun­try has been sur­viv­ing on res­cue funds since 2010 and is anx­ious to draw a line un­der fi­nan­cial up­heaval next year and be able to ser­vice debt it­self. It is seek­ing to cre­ate four new, bench­mark size bonds, re­plac­ing 20 sep­a­rate is­sues with a face value of around 32 bil­lion euros. The move would smooth out ma­tu­ri­ties and add depth to a cur­rently shal­low mar­ket. “[Greek au­thor­i­ties] want to do it by early Novem­ber, but there is not a fi­nal de­ci­sion yet,” a banker who re­quested anonymity told Reuters. Greece, he said, was sound­ing out hold­ers of ex­ist­ing gov­ern­ment debt, in­clud­ing banks and funds, to gauge the like­li­hood of their par­tic­i­pa­tion in the project. A fund man­ager in Lon­don con­firmed that Athens is con­sid­er­ing go­ing ahead with the deal by Novem­ber. There would be sup­port for the swap from the bond­hold­ers, the fund man­ager added. The 20 bonds were is­sued in 2012 in a vol­un­tary scheme whereby pri­vate bond­hold­ers took a 53.5 per­cent hair­cut – or value re­duc­tion – on the nom­i­nal value of their hold­ings. It was the world’s big­gest debt re­struc­tur­ing in­volv­ing bonds with a to­tal face value of 206 bil­lion euros. Ma­jor hold­ers in­cluded banks and pen­sions funds in Greece and abroad.

Wa­ter debts for­given. Athens Wa­ter Com­pany (EYDAP) has writ­ten off the debts of peo­ple be­long­ing to vul­ner­a­ble groups in the con­text of its so­cial sol­i­dar­ity pol­icy. In to­tal it has for­given ar­rears of 565,000 euros and will of­fer peo­ple who qual­ify for the So­cial Sol­i­dar­ity In­come a free monthly al­lowance.

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