Monday, July 20, 2015

20/7/15: Greece clears IMF arrears. Almost broke, again.

Having borrowed EUR7.2bn, Greece promptly settled its arrears with the IMF (EUR1.996 billion at exchange rates of June-July, but closer to EUR2.05bn in current rates), opening up the way to pay on maturing EUR3.492 billion ECB and NCBs funds today.

Have a new credit card? Will travel… for now… but only for now, as with today's payments we have less than EUR2 billion credit line remaining available for the country.

Next stop: see here

Meanwhile, banks reopening - overhyped on both sides (by the mainstream media as a non-event (re: no mayhem) and by alternative media as a run-waiting-to-happen (re: mayhem)) - came relatively calmly, as banks remain under severe capital controls, limiting withdrawals to EUR420 per person per week. On top of which, checks are cashed only into bank account (no cash); withdrawals abroad and money transfers abroad are not allowed, even on pre-paid cards; limits placed on use of credit and debit cards abroad; no new savings or deposits accounts can be opened; repayments of loans can only be done in line with scheduled payments (no advanced repayments possible except by using cash or transfers from abroad); only unrestricted payments are for tax purposes, social security or bank liabilities payments, plus payments to hospitals and for education.

Any wonder there were no bank runs today? Ah, sure, who would run on an open bank with no cash in it? A taxman?..

But coming back to those bridge finance funds. The EU is now saying the Bailout 3.0 will take 6-8 weeks to agree and structure. There is EUR3.188 billion worth of ECB maturities coming up in 5 weeks, EUR1.344 billion of IMF loans due in September, and EUR3.8 billion worth of short term bonds maturing before 8 weeks runs out. Which begs a question: where will Greece get the money to cover these liabilities?

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