Greek yield curve shows concern over default starting to ease

Greek yield curve shows concern over default starting to ease

Greece’s bond yield curve is showing signs of returning to normality.

The yield on Greece’s securities due in 2019 fell below that on the nation’s 10-year debt on Monday as European Union officials said the nation’s next 2 billion-euro ($2.3 billion) aid payment is under discussion and may be approved next week.

As recently as July, when Greece was locked in negotiations to secure more aid, yields on the shorter-dated bonds were more than 18 percentage points higher, regarded as a sign of bond- market stress.

Greek bonds have rallied after the nation voted Alexis Tsipras and his Coalition of the Radical Left, or SYRIZA, into power for the second time in eight months, amid speculation that the outcome of the election won’t derail Greece’s international bailout.

That’s in a contrast to the previous vote in January, which prompted a selloff in the securities after it first brought the anti-austerity SYRIZA party to power.

“The front end has rallied nicely as concerns have faded following the deal this summer and the election results which have somewhat strengthened the position of Tsipras,” said Vincent Chaigneau, the global head of rates and foreign-exchange strategy at Societe Generale SA. “The market is hopeful that the imminent decision on the next bailout payment to Greece will be positive.”

The yield on Greece’s 4.75 percent debt maturing in April 2019 fell 63 basis points, or 0.63 percentage point, to 7.51 percent as of 12:36 p.m. London time, with the price of the bonds at 91.76 percent of face value.

The 10-year yield was at 7.59 percent, leaving the yield on the 2019 securities below that on Greece’s 10-year bonds for the first time this year, according to closing price data.

At 8.15 percent, the yield on Greek securities due in 2017 is still higher than that on both the longer-dated bonds.

An inverted yield curve — where yields on shorter-dated bonds are higher than their longer-maturity peers — may indicate investors are more concerned about a short-term default than the longer-term financial outlook.


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