Investors who bought Greek default insurance discover how much they will be paid today. Memories of the chaos that flowed from CDS payouts after the collapse of Lehmans mean there is a degree of nervousness but the signs are this will be nothing like as serious.
A payout of around $2.5 billion to holders of the insurance contracts on Greek bonds will not cause the calamity once feared by euro zone politicians and the ECB as it represents a drop in the ocean of losses investors have already taken on money lent to Greece. That doesn’t mean, however, that a few banks have not been foolish enough to write vast amounts of contracts on Greek debt which will now fall due.
There is a complex auction process to go through where bonds are bought and sold in order to determine a final price, or ‘recovery rate’. That will also give a more accurate guide to the market outlook for Greece since the new bonds issued as part of the bond swap are barely being traded so far. That view ain’t likely to be pretty.
The European Financial Stability Facility — the euro zone’s rescue fund — is busy raising money for the Greek bailout to meet its 109 billion euro contribution. It has asked BNP Paribas, Commerzbank and DZ Bank to arrange a conference call with investors on Monday to discuss a potential new bond issue with a 20-30 year maturity, according to banking sources. This will be the first time it has attempted to sell bonds of this length of maturity. EFSF chief Regling will field questions from potential buyers.
Not much for markets to get their teeth into yet. German Bunds have edged up while European stock futures opened flat. The Greek central bank issues a monetary policy report today in which it is likely to keep up the pressure for the government to pursue its economic reform pledges with alacrity. The Bundesbank issues its monthly report at 1100.