Greece Awaits IMF Report Before Exit to Markets

Thursday, July 20th, 2017
Last Update: 12:32

The Greek government will assess market reactions to the IMF’s debt sustainability report published today, before deciding to proceed with issuing a government bond for the first time since March 2014.

At the same time, it continues preparing for the exit to the markets by hiring six banks to arrange its comeback.

According to Reuters, Greece has mandated Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and HSBC for a five-year trade.

Reuters quotes an unnamed source who says that the deal could arrive as soon as next week, but that timing remains uncertain as the sovereign awaits signoff by its official creditors.

Greece, rated Caa2/B-/CCC, is said to be looking to raise €2bn-€4bn. The trade is not expected to be straightforward, given that relief on Greece’s €326bn debt pile remains elusive, and the country’s sovereign bonds are still not eligible to be bought under the ECB’s quantitative easing programme.

The sovereign last issued in July 2014 when it raised €1.5bn in notes which matured on 17 July 2017. It also raised €3bn in April 2014 which is due April 2019.

Athens is tight-lipped about the timing over the exit to the markets.

Opposition New Democracy had accused the government of “incapability and incompetence” following government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos’ statement that the return to the markets cannot be announced beforehand.

“For all the serious governments in the world, the preparation for the return to the markets goes without saying,” New Democracy said and added: “Assuming the opposite confirms the lack of competence.”

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