ECONOMY

Greek bonds signal $2.6 bln payout on credit-default swaps

Greek bonds issued as part of the biggest ever sovereign debt restructuring signal sellers of default insurance will have to pay about $2.6 billion to holders of credit swaps.

Investors are using new Greek 30-year bonds that are trading at about 23 cents on the euro to calculate the payout, according to Teo Lasarte, a European credit strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in London.

The credit-default swaps will be settled at an auction on March 19 after investors were forced to exchange their Greek debt holdings at a loss. Austria may have to inject 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) into KA Finanz AG, the so-called bad bank of Kommunalkredit Austria AG, to help cover Greek swap payouts, the nationalized lender said.

?People are using the longest-dated new bond as an indication of recovery,? Lasarte said. ?The important thing is that the payout will be reflective of the economic loss faced by most bondholders.?

In the exchange, investors agreed to write off more than 100 billion euros of debt in return for new Greek bonds worth 31.5 percent of their original investment.

Settlement Auction

The settlement auction will determine the amount that sellers of protection pay by setting an agreed price for Greek bonds. Sellers pay the buyer face value in exchange for the underlying securities or the cash equivalent should a borrower fail to adhere to its debt agreements.

The recovery value may fall at the auction to 20 cents on the euro, giving protection holders an 80 percent cash payout, because more investors will want to sell their securities, according to Saul Doctor, a credit strategist at JPMorgan Chase