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live New default for Greece on 15 May

02 April 2012 / 14:04:31  GRReporter
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Twenty of the thirty-six owners of Greek government bonds issued under foreign law - British, American, Swiss or Japanese refused to participate in the voluntary haircut of the Greek debt, announced the Greek Public Debt Management Agency headed by Petros Christodoulou.

The bondholders meetings rejected the proposal of the Greek government, adjourned taking a decision, and failed to achieve a quorum. The meetings involved holders of notes worth 26.8 billion dollars, in dollars, euro, Swiss francs and Japanese yen. Investors holding 15.3 billion dollars in bonds agreed to voluntary restructuring, while others, holding 11.5 billion from the Greek debt refused.

 "The key thing with the international bonds is that holders have to vote bond-by-bond rather than in aggregate," says Thomas for Bloomberg Costerg, European economist at Standard Chartered Bank. This makes it easier for investors to block the debt restructuring and raise the question of what Greece can do in this case. The amount of 11.5 million dollars will make any European court unanimously rule in its favour. Lucas Papademos' government has several options - to negotiate with these investors to reach a mutually acceptable compromise, to pay them the full amount or to unilaterally refuse to repay the creditors, recalls Thomas Costerg.

"Paying up in full would raise the issue of fairness regarding the domestic-law bondholders, while a hard default would make litigation likely. This reminds investors that the Greek crisis and the euro-area crisis aren’t over," concludes the economist.

The closest maturity is 15 May, when notes registered under foreign law and worth 450 million euro are due and the holders of which rejected voluntarily participating in the Greek debt restructuring. The Greek Public Debt Management Agency has 30 days to make the payment. Where to find the money for the debt maturity will be the first test for the new Greek government, which will be formed after the country's upcoming early parliamentary elections.

Tags: Greece's defaultBondsLegislationDebt haircutPSIEconomic crisis
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