Eurogroup president, Mario Centeno, said that the Greek government bonds are safer after the decision on June 21. In an exclusive interview with CNBC on Wednesday, Centeno sought to reassure investors.
Centeno said that an agreement to soften future debt repayments, reached two weeks ago, has reduced investors’ concerns over the embattled European nation. Under the deal, creditors have pushed back any interest and loan repayments for 10 years. There is a commitment to give Greece any profits made by central banks in the euro zone on their respective holdings of Greek bonds; as well as a promise from Europe to reassess the sustainability of the debt in 2032.
When asked if these measures had made the benchmark 10-year Greek government bond less risky, Centeno said: “I am sure it is and it will be even more so after August 20.”
Greece is scheduled to end nearly a decade of external help this August, after implementing more than 400 policy measures demanded by creditors.
The yield on the 10-year government bond has fallen about 30 basis points in the wake of the recent debt deal. It moved from standing at about 4.2 percent to 3.9 percent. In contrast, Italy’s 10-year yield currently stands at 2.668 percent and the U.S.’ at 2.85 percent.
“But this is, I won’t call it a slow process, but again looking at past experiences you see countries exiting a program gradually gaining confidence,” Centeno said, hinting that Athens still has a lot to do to keep the economy going.
It’s not just about attracting investment but also delivering on financial commitments. Greece’s creditors have demanded a 3.5 percent primary surplus for the next four years and 2.2 percent in the 37 years after that.
Greek government debt has become more favorable to international investors thanks to a recent debt deal, and will only continue along this path, according to a key EU finance official.
Greek bonds are often the first in the firing line during bouts of market turmoil. Yields — which have an inverse relationship to prices — spiked considerably during the euro zone sovereign debt crisis of 2011.
full Centeno interview in CNBC