Venizelos promises help for pension funds after haircut

Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos has pledged support for Greece’s pension funds after revealing in Parliament on Friday that they hold 27 billion euros in Greek bonds whose value will be greatly reduced by an imminent debt restructuring scheme.

Venizelos told lawmakers that the portfolio was already «at tragically low levels» taking into account the deep discounts at which Greek government bonds trade on the secondary market.

“The total portfolio of Greek bonds that the Greek pension funds hold is EUR27 billion,» Venizelos said in comments reported by Dow Jones.

“That portfolio is being replaced with cash, with new, better bonds of much higher net present value and, further, the parliament has already approved the creation of a special public body through which to transfer public assets to the funds,» he added.