PSI talks progress, but no deal yet

Talks on a bond swap between Greece and creditor banks have made progress but there is no deal yet, the country’s deputy finance minister said on Tuesday, reaffirming that Athens wants to reach a voluntary agreement that makes the country’s debt sustainable.

Greece is under pressure to conclude a deal with its private bondholders to secure continued funding by its international lenders and avert a default in March, when it has to redeem 14.5 billion euros in government bonds.

Germany and France warned Athens on Monday it would get no more bailout funds until it agrees with creditor banks on a bond swap, pressing for an early deal to avert a potential default.

“There are developments in the talks, we are at a satisfactory point. There is no final text,» Deputy Finance Minister Filippos Sachinidis told Real FM radio.

“We want a voluntary agreement in which the private sector will participate and which will ensure the sustainability of Greek debt.”

Under the so-called «private sector involvement» (PSI), agreed in October, investors will voluntarily accept a nominal 50 percent discount on their Greek bond holdings in return for a mix of cash and new bonds.

The PSI deal is a pivotal part of a second, 130 billion euro bailout package for Greece agreed by eurozone leaders in October.

“We want the talks to lead to a final deal which will bolster the view that Greece’s debt will be sustainable,» Sachinidis said. [Reuters]

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