ECONOMY

Greece to tap markets for no more than 10 bln next year

Greece should not require any more than 10 billion euros from the markets next year in order to fully cover its obligations.

The Finance Ministry has drafted a series of scenarios regarding the country’s funding needs after the completion of the bailout process, and Athens is not expected to need more than that amount from the markets even if the International Monetary Fund ceases to finance Greece.

Ministry officials explain that Greece’s total borrowing needs for the next couple of years amount to some 26 billion euros, of which 19.7 billion euros will be required in 2015.

This will be covered as follows: Short-term borrowing by general government entities (repos) is estimated to allow for the use of 8 billion euros; the repayment of the preferred shares that the state holds should fetch 2 to 3 billion euros; the funds that can be drawn from the markets will range from 6 to 10 billion euros, depending on the conditions and extent of the implementation of the other funding solutions; and the revenues from the privatizations program that are expected to come in earlier than expected.

As for the just over 6 billion euros in obligations for 2016, officials argue this is a very small amount that can be covered either through new borrowing or repos, and will generally be of no great worry to the government.

Besides that, the ministry says that the state has sufficient cash reserves that under certain conditions could last up to June 2015.

The plans also include scenarios based on the disbursement of the remaining 7.2 billion euros for this year (3.7 billion from the eurozone and 3.5 billion from the IMF) and others without that amount.

The state could meet its needs up to June 2015 even without this last tranche for 2014, but only on the condition that tax revenues come in as calculated.

March is seen as the key point in those plans, as the state coffers will come under pressure if the eurozone and the IMF have not disbursed the last tranche of this year by that time.