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Monthly bonds will fill the gaps from the delayed payment

11 November 2012 / 14:11:51  GRReporter
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Delaying the transfer of the 31.5 billion euro instalment creates huge problems for Greece, mostly related to its liquidity. This will force the Treasury to issue two series of interest bonds next week. The amounts collected will cover the debt of the public sector resulting from the bonds' expiry and current obligations. On Tuesday, for the first time in post-war history, the state, through the Organization for Sovereign Debt Management, will issue 4-week interest bonds, hoping that they will return 2,125 billion euro in parallel with 13-week interest bonds worth 1 billion euro. The total value, together with the competitive bids which will be accepted, will reach 5 billion euro. Thus, there will be enough liquidity to redeem the government bonds issued in August.

According to government sources, the 4-week bonds which expire on 14 December, justify the government's beliefs that by this date the first instalment of the money from the loan will have been received and the Greek state will not have to resort to a third reissue of bonds. Sources from the Ministry of Finance said that until the money from the loan comes, the Ministry will be forced to issue more bonds to meet its needs.

Meanwhile, the delay of the 31.5 billion euro instalment puts the government under pressure. The Prime Minister is constantly in touch with the European partners, saying that the new delay is pumping tension into Greek society and is blocking the government's efforts in a moment when it is trying to push the new Memorandum in parliament.

It is said that Antonis Samaras is constantly telling his European partners that the country has made everything possible in its turn to meet its obligations, and now it is time for the creditors to show goodwill. After so many efforts by the tripartite government, it needs something more than a political statement of support from Brussels. The new delay is a nightmare for the government, although Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras told reporters three times that there was no cause for concern.

The government is not hiding its concern about the atmosphere which is created, but stressed that the delay was due to a disagreement between Germany and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the way Greece will be financed. Antonis Samaras's telephone conversations with the partners will continue until the end, until the Greek delegation goes to Brussels. There, the Prime Minister will attend a meeting on Tuesday, organized by the European Commission President, the President of the European Parliament and the Polish and Portuguese Prime Ministers.

If payments are made on time and to the amount the government is expecting, of the two loan agreements for 230 billion euro over the next two years, Greece will have already received 44 billion euro. Today, the remainder of Greece's loan is 88.8 billion euro. If 44.8 billion euro are transferred by the end of January, according to the plan of the memorandum, by 2014 there will remain 44 billion euro.

The sum of 44.8 billion euro will be paid in two instalments to the Ministry of Finance by the end of January, as part of the 130 billion euro loan from the EU, IMF and the European Central Bank, if creditors approve the Greek programme before that. According to this plan, by mid-December Greece is expected to receive 31.5 billion euro, plus the delayed 5 billion euro from September. Then, 8.3 billion euro will be transferred in January without a new evaluation by the Troika.

Chairman of the Athens Chamber of Commerce Konstantinos Mihalos said that the transfer of the next instalment is paramount, in order for the consolidation of the Greek banking system to continue, stressing that this alone is not enough to restore market liquidity. The lack of liquidity was identified as a major problem of the Greek economy by President of the National Bank George Zanias, who did not exclude the possibility that Greece will receive a greater instalment than that expected. According to him, two issues need to be solved: the financial gap which will result from the two-year extension of the programme, and the problem of the debt's viability. Christos Gortsos, general secretary of the Hellenic Bank Association, noted that consolidation, combined with return of deposits and future issuance of policies, will lead to market funding, but this can happen in the second year. Chief financial officer of Eurobank Gikas Hardouvelis stressed that European markets have a greater horizon and a strategic behaviour, in contrast to politicians.

Tags: Instalment bonds Yiannis Stournaras Memorandum
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