Monday, March 5, 2012

Greek default looms as voluntary debt deal looks set to fail

European leaders are braced for the eurozone’s first ever sovereign default this week as Greece’s efforts to secure a €206bn (£172bn) “voluntary” bond swap looks increasingly unlikely.
Authorities in Athens are ready to enforce the controversial collective action clauses, or CACs, to impose the restructuring deal on all bondholders as the number of voluntary agreements look set to fall short of the required amount.

Credit rating agencies have warned they will declare Athens to be in default if the CACs are triggered which would be a dramatic culmination to a three-year rollercoaster ride for Athens, the eurozone and global markets.

While the markets have been ready for a Greek default for months, the move could leave Greece and its banks barred from funding from the European Central Bank (ECB). On Monday, Standard & Poor’s declared Greece to be in a state of “selective default” which led to the ECB announcing it would no longer accept Greek government bonds as security for new loans.
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