As the European debt crisis worsens there appears to be more help coming from Asia, with Japan on Tuesday offering to buy Irish bonds coming up for sale this month.
Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda said on Tuesday the government would buy more than 20 percent of a bond offering by the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), Dow Jones reported.
The euro zone is planning to issue a large amount of bonds in a cooperative manner late this month to raise funds to assist Ireland, and it is appropriate for Japan, as a major economy, to buy some of the EFSF bonds to bolster confidence Dow Jones quoted Noda as saying.
Spanish daily El Pais reported last week that China had offered to purchase Spanish sovereign debt worth about $7.89 billion. Earlier in the month, Chinese ambassador to Spain said China will contribute to efforts to secure Spain's financial stability and economic recovery as the debt-hit nation was trying to shore up investor confidence and avert any sovereign crisis.
The agency quoted Nikkei as saying Japan will buy bonds worth 100 billion yen, which would account for about 20 percent of the first issuance of the bond.
The EFSF was set up earlier last year after debt-hit Greece requested bailout and it comes with a euro zone government guaranty of 440 billion euros. Since the Greek bailout in May, Ireland too was bailed out as the last year drew to a close, setting off talks about possible sovereign crises in Portugal and Spain.
So far China has been the most proactive to the debt crisis stalking the eurozone, especially in the peripheral countries. Beijing has shown a generous hand recently with a slew of offers of assistance to troubled EU members. Close on the heels of the Irish bailout plan last month, Beijing had said it approved of EU's plans to fix the financial crisis in the region. It had also shored up support for Greece earlier last year after the country accepted an EU-IMF-backed bailout.
However, analysts are still unsure if Chinese and Japanese offer of assistance will be enough to shore up market confidence in many eurozone countries facing yawning fiscal gaps.
China does have a strategic interest in the survival of euro, but analysts been doubtful if Beijing can emerge as a true savior.
Analysts at Capital Economics have said China is unlikely to be able or willing to do much to solve the debt crisis in the euro-zone, even though the popular perception is that it will.
China’s leaders naturally want to be polite to foreign hosts and visitors, but their actions frequently fall short of the expectations raised by their words, write Julian Jessop, chief international economist and Mark Williams, senior China economist, in a note.
They also added that the willingness of China or anyone else to buy sovereign bonds will not alone see the region through its more complicated systemic difficulties. According to them, eurozone’s difficulties go beyond finding investors to buy sovereign bonds each month.