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Euroclear Bank Efficiently Swaps 30% Of Foreigner-Held Greek Debt

Date 02/04/2012

Euroclear Bank has processed instructions equivalent to more than EUR 41 billion, nearly a third of the total outstanding nominal value of Greek debt held outside Greece that was impacted by the bailout fund swap programme.

Greece announced earlier this year that more than 85% of its private sector creditors agreed to swap their bonds for new securities (at about 50% less face value). This transformed the exchange offer into a mandatory transaction for all Greek government bonds. Euroclear Bank, a leading settlement and asset-servicing provider for cross-border transactions, processed instructions representing more of the programme’s nominal value than any other settlement infrastructure service provider outside Greece that was involved with the swap.

Commencing on 24 February and closing on 8 March, this operation supported the largest-ever sovereign debt restructuring. Euroclear Bank processed more than 4,000 client instructions during this period.

Pierre Slechten, Managing Director in charge of Asset Servicing & Transaction Operations and Client Services at Euroclear Bank, said: “Our staff was well prepared to manage the operational challenges associated with this exchange offer. The entire process ran smoothly, aided by the excellent communication between Euroclear Bank and the Greek authorities. Together, with our agents, we spent about six months preparing intensively for this event. We are proud that Euroclear Bank’s operations teams could directly and successfully contribute to the smooth swap of Greek debt during such a short period of time. We also credit the many different teams in Greece and at Euroclear Bank for the collaborative efforts to meet such an operationally challenging responsibility with such calm and efficiency.”

It is estimated that about 70% of Greek government bonds are held by foreign investors (primarily banks).