Greece Exchanges 20.3 Billion Euros of Foreign-Law Bonds

Greece moved closer to concluding the biggest debt restructuring in history by exchanging 20.3 billion euros ($26.7 billion) of bonds issued under foreign law for new securities.

Together with the domestic-law bonds dealt with a month ago, it means that Greece has re-organized 198.6 billion euros of debt, according to a statement on the Finance Ministry website. That’s about 96.6 percent of the 205.5 billion euros of notes eligible for restructuring, the government said.

Prime Minister Lucas Papademos called elections yesterday, stating that his interim government had completed its tasks of carrying out the sovereign debt exchange and securing a 130 billion-euro rescue package designed to stop the economy collapsing. In March, Greece forced holders of sovereign notes issued under domestic law to accept a 53.5 percent cut in the face value of the bonds, wiping about 100 billion euros off what the nation owes.

Greece warned foreign-law holdouts, too, that it will press for debt relief on the remaining securities “in due course.” It extended the deadline for responses to April 20, after which certain sweeteners will no longer be available, according to the Finance Ministry statement, dated yesterday.

Investors in seven series of bonds where negotiations were adjourned have until April 13 to respond.

To contact the reporter on this story: Marcus Bensasson in Athens at mbensasson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net

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