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Alternative Market Briefing

60% of Greek bond holders agree to debt swap deal

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York - Bloomberg Businessweek is reporting that 60% of Greek bond holders have agreed to participate in the nation's debt swap deal which may help finalize the biggest sovereign restructuring in history.

Greece’s largest banks, most of the country’s pension funds, and more than 30 European banks and insurers have agreed to the offer. Bringing the total to about $163b. The goal of the debt swap plan is to reduce the amount of privately held Greek debt by more than half in order to help the country work its way out of its current debt crisis.

So far, many participants have volunteered to participate but the Greek government has indicated that it may use collective action clauses to force bond holders into the swap if the amount of volunteers falls short. The offer ends at 10 p.m. Athens time today.

Observers expect that the final tally of volunteers will be approximately 80% of bond holders. Participants are essentially agreeing to take new bonds that are 70% less in value than the current bonds that they hold. The new bonds will also have longer maturities and lower interest rates.

Those holding out from the arrangement have indicated that they may prefer the terms of a credit default swap (CDS) which would be triggered if the deal falls through. A banking leader and close observer......................

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