Return of bond is a step closer

Two of the four pension funds that bought into an overpriced 280-million-euro state bond have decided to discuss reselling it to investment bank JP Morgan, sources said yesterday. JP Morgan and hedge fund North Asset Management (NAM) said last week that they agreed to repurchase the bond and that the funds have until Friday to make a decision. The Pharmaceutical Workers’ Auxiliary Pension Fund (TEAYFE) and the Social Insurance Workers’ Auxiliary Pension Fund (TEAPOKA), which have jointly invested 135 million euros in the financial instrument, will start talks with the bank toward having their money returned. The other two funds involved are the Newspaper Sellers’ Pension Fund (TSEYP) and the Civil Servants’ Auxiliary Pension Fund (TEADY). Funds will be reimbursed for selling back their bonds, less any interest that may have already been paid on it. In a bid to learn the latest developments in the bond scandal, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is expected to meet with the head of some of the largest funds today. Government sources meanwhile said yesterday that a prosecutor’s investigation into the bond investments is expected to wind up next week and that around 20 people are due to testify as suspects.