Friday, February 27, 2015

27/2/15: Running out of cash: Greece heading into March

My comments to Portuguese Expresso on Greek agreement:

Unedited version here:

"Over the next four months, Greece is facing significant debt redemption pressures. In March, EUR5.83 billion of T-bills and IMF loans maturing and requiring a re-financing. Between now and the end of April, Greece will require to roll over EUR8.1 billion of T-bills and refinance EUR2 billion worth of IMF loans.

Currently, Greece has no money to cover its debt maturity redemptions in March and it is quite questionable if the country can find cash, outside the Programme extension facilities agreed last week but are yet to be ratified by the Eurogroup members and the Institutions, to do so in the markets. Currently Greek 10 year bonds are priced at 65.354, with a yield of 9.23% and rising. This suggests there is unlikely to be significant appetite in the markets to cover a substantial issue of new debt by Greece. At the same time, internal reserves available to the Government are virtually non-existent, especially given the rate of tax receipts deterioration in recent months. December 2014 tax revenues were 14 percent below target, January 2015 tax revenues fell 20% below target, implying a monthly shortfall close to EUR1 billion. In all likelihood, shortfall was at least as big in February as the new Government was tied up in negotiations with the Troika and deposits fled from the banks.

The key problem is that Greece has no option when it comes to delaying repayment of the above funds. IMF is the super-senior lender of last resort and T-bills markets are the bloodline for the Greek Government. Failing to redeem maturing T-bills will be a disaster for the country. In short, Syriza urgently needs to secure new funds to cover these redemptions."

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