Euro zone finance ministers and officials met in Brussels to discuss terms of a Greek debt restructuring as part of a second bailout package for Athens and rejected an offer made by private bondholders to help restructure those debts, officials said, sending negotiators back to the drawing board.
Following are comments after their talks:
EUROPEAN FINANCIAL STABILITY FACILITY (EFSF) CEO KLAUS REGLING
ON S&P DOWNGRADE OF EFSF RATING:
The market reaction to the downgrade by S&P has been limited... The fact that the downgrade to AA+ happened by only one rating agency means it will not reduce the EFSF lending capacity of overall 440 billion euros, and that means the EFSF has sufficient means to fulfill its commitments on the current and future potential adjustment programs, until the ESM becomes operation in July this year.
Consequently there was no need today to take any decisions in the Eurogroup.
ON EFSF LEVERAGE:
The S&P rating action on EFSF will also not affect the EFSF's capacity to leverage its resources. Leverage of three or more (times) is possible and is confirmed in our talks with investors. On this leveraging, I can tell you that we have made substantial progress in our work. You remember that there are two potential options that we want to use to leverage the resources. Option one - the partial risk protection. This will be available by the end of the month. This has been incorporated in the form of an SPV in early January.
The option two is the co-investment fund (CIF). Here also the structure was incorporated last week, on January 19. The CIF will be available soon. At least the two-tranche structure of this CIF, this two-tier structure means there will be a first-loss tranche from the ESM and the second tranche from an investor, this structure will be ready soon.
EUROGROUP PRESIDENT JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER
ON BONDHOLDER LOSSES ON GREEK DEBT:
We reviewed the process of the consultations on the PSI (private sector involvement) operation between the Greek government and the IIF-led creditor group as well as the discussions in Athens between the troika and the Greek government on the new adjustment program.
We welcome the increased convergence and ask the Greek government to reach in the next few days a common understanding on the main terms and conditions of the PSI offer, while respecting the main parameters and objectives set by the euro summit on the October 26.
PSI should secure the decline of the Greek debt-to-GDP ratio with an objective of reaching 120 percent by 2020. This should take place by a voluntary bond exchange with a nominal discount of 50 pct on notional Greek debt held by private investors.
In parallel we call on the Greek government and the (EU-IMF) troika to agree on the key parameters of an ambitious new adjustment program as soon as possible.
Let me make it crystal clear -- there are absolutely no divergences of view on this matter around the table: for everyone of us the future of Greece is clearly within the euro area.