Sunday, April 25, 2010

International Headlines #Greece $NBG

International Headlines

·         Greece – finance minister Papaconstantinou warns investors not to bet against Greece (they will "lose their shirts") as the country will receive emergency aid by mid-May from the IMF and EU; the FM said talks will be concluded "rather soon" and that aid will be forthcoming; the FM added that a restructuring of the country's debt was off the table and that if aid was delayed for some reason, a bridge loan of some sort was possible (Bloomberg). 
·         Greece  - In terms of when it would get EU/IMF aid, Greece said Fri it anticipated receipt of the aid prior to May 19, when it has an EU8.5B bond due.  According to Reuters, France said it hoped to approve its portion between May 3-6. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who will meet top lawmakers on Monday to discuss fast-track approval for loans to Greece, said Berlin would make its contribution if the EU, the ECB and the IMF agree Athens needs help.  The US said it supports Greece's decision to seek activation (the US has a veto on the IMF and could theoretically block the move if it wished). 
·         Europe – WSJ oped likens Greece to Bear Stearns, and says a bailout of the country needs to be done the "right" way; i.e., even if the IMF can get Greece through the next few months, the country faces a crushing ~$240B worth of maturities and interest payments over the next several years.  Better to have the nation conduct a restructuring now, w/haircuts applied to debt, maturities extended, and interest rates cut, then try to sweep the issue under the rug only to have Spain become a sovereign "Lehman Brothers".  WSJ     
·         Greek meltdown in danger of spreading according to UK's A Darling; the EU must act quickly to provide assistance to Greece; Darlings's views were echoed by US TSY Sec Geithner – London Times.     

·        Greece – the IMF tells Greece there is nothing to fear from its involvement in the bailout of the country.  London Telegraph. 

·         German politician raises prospect of Greece leaving EU Monetary Union - A leading German politician said that Greece may have to be ejected from the single currency. Hans-Peter Friedrich, a senior official of CSU, the Bavarian wing of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, told Spiegel that this subject "should not be taboo".  London Telegraph. 

·         China – the country's central bank governor said China will keep its "proactive" fiscal measures and maintain its "relatively" east monetary policy. 

·         Korea - A torpedo was the likely cause of an explosion that sank a warship near the border with North Korea, a South Korean minister said (WSJ)

·         Toyota Motor Corp is expected to have posted a group operating profit of as high as 50 billion yen ($532 million) for the year that ended on March 31 (Reuters/Nikkei) 


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