THE AGENCY THAT oversees financial derivatives says a massive debt relief deal for Greece constitutes a so-called credit event, meaning it will trigger payouts on bond insurance.
The International Swaps and Derivatives Association said tonight that its determinations committee “resolved unanimously that a Restructuring Credit Event has occurred with respect to The Hellenic Republic.”
That means holders of credit default swaps on Greek bonds will be able to claim insurance payments as a result of Greece’s decision to force its debt holders into a bond swap.
There had been fears that the payout of such insurance could spark a cascade of losses for banks and other important investment funds.
But ISDA has said that overall payouts on CDS linked to Greek bonds will be less than $3.2 billion, relieving fears that they could fell a big financial firm.
Earlier, Greece’s private creditors agreed to take cents on the euro in the biggest debt write down in history, paving the way for an enormous second bailout to keep the Europe’s economy from being dragged further into chaos.
Greece would have risked defaulting on its debts in two weeks without the agreement, sparking turmoil in the financial markets and sending shock waves through the other 16 countries that use the euro.
Prime Minister Lucas Papdemos called the deal an important “historic success” in a televised address to the nation Friday night. “For the first time, Greece is not adding but taking debt off the backs of its citizens.”
The country said 83.5 per cent of private investors holding its government debt had agreed to a bond swap, taking a cut in more than half the face value of their investments with softer repayment terms for Greece.
The radical swap aimed to put the country’s debt-ridden economy on the road to recovery, and was a key condition to secure a €130 billion rescue package from other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund.