ECONOMY

Bond rollover ball gets rolling

The Greek government is expected to launch talks with its bondholders on Thursday aimed at making the country?s massive debt load sustainable.

Greece hopes to wind up discussions with private creditors interested in swapping existing government paper for 15- to 30-year bonds by September in a bid to trim the period where ratings agencies have a selective default rating, or restricted default rating, slapped on the country.

The government is in the process of appointing financial and legal advisers concerning the debt swap-over.

Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos is in Washington for a two-day visit where he met with Charles Dallara, managing director of the Institute of International Finance, whose members include most large global banks.

Meanwhile, Germany?s Economy Ministry said on Monday it will hold an investor conference for debt-laden Greece this week. It said that top representatives of German industry and Economy Minister Philipp Roesler will discuss on Tuesday on how to foster investment and growth in Greece.

German industry representatives met Greek Development Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis last week to explore investment possibilities and ways of improving the country?s competitiveness.

Sources have told Kathimerini that Germany is interested in investing in Greece?s renewable energy sector after its recent decision to ban nuclear power by 2022. Boosting Germany?s energy supply by importing electricity from Greece is believed to be a viable plan given that the network needed to transport the power will not require undersea cables, therefore making the proposal more financially attractive.

Increased demand for renewable power may give a boost to the local economy, providing much needed investments; however, market sources pointed out that the extra demand for power generated in Greece may boost the cost of electricity, weighing on consumers that have already seen a large drop in purchasing power recently.