Bond Coupon Is ‘Prime Difference’ in Greek Debt Talks, IIF Says

Greek debt swap talks between bondholders and government officials broke down last week because of disagreements over the coupon on the new bonds, said Frank Vogl, a spokesman at the Institute of International Finance.

Negotiations were also put on hold because there was no agreement from the different authorities involved, Vogl said today in an e-mail. The IIF is representing bondholders in talks with officials from the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the Greek government.

“A prime difference relates to the interest rate to be paid on new Greek bonds,” the spokesman said. The IIF is “hopeful” that Charles Dallara, the group’s managing director, can return to Athens in coming days, he said.

Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said two days ago that talks with the IIF will resume on Jan. 18. The Washington-based IIF, which represents banks holding the bonds, said on Jan. 14 there is a “tentative plan” to return to Athens mid-week. The two sides broke off negotiations on Jan. 13.

“There have been differences of views among the official parties to the negotiations, despite the best efforts of the Greek government’s leadership,” Vogl said. It’s important that the talks conclude “as soon as possible,” he said.

The coupon is the interest rate paid on a bond.

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