Greece could return to financial markets in the next few weeks, investors and bankers close to the discussions say, raising private cash that would mark an important step towards ending its dependence on official funding next year.
Athens’ largest creditor, the European Stability Mechanism, said on Monday that Greece should develop a strategy to end a three-year exile from markets before its current bailout programme expires in mid-2018.
Greek finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos met investors in London last month and one of those funds, BlueBay Asset Management, said the volume of calls they are receiving from bankers about a potential deal suggest it's very close.
"Over the last few months, we would get one call on this every couple of weeks [from bankers], but over the last 10 days, it seems to be every day I'm getting a call asking about this particular topic," BlueBay's Mark Dowding said.
“One senses we are getting to a point where this feels more imminent. We could well expect to see a deal in the next couple of weeks before investors depart for their summer holidays.”
Mr Tsakalotos also met investors including the world’s biggest bond fund Pimco and US-based asset manager Standish, sources close to those meetings said. Pimco declined to comment.
A banker advising Greece on its market return, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “They [Greece] are monitoring the market and they are trying to do something right now, so I wouldn’t rule out a deal within the next week or two.”
“I think they would like to send a signal that they don’t depend solely on the Troika any more for funding. It’s more like a political statement. They are being driven politically to do a deal,” the banker said.
A second banker said a sale in the next few weeks was possible although it may yet be pushed back until after German elections in September. He said Greece could expect to raise at least €3 billion in the debt sale. – Reuters