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Voluntary debt restructuring: the 2017 Greek €29.6 billion bond exchange explained

Discussion Papers
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Download PDF: Discussion Paper 15

Authors: Jasper Aerts, Gabriela Olariu and Efstathios Sofos

This paper showcases the Greek 2017 liability management exercise as an example of a successful voluntary debt restructuring by a sovereign with active participation from both public and private sector creditors. The exercise, one of the largest in financial history, saw Greece restructure some €29.6 billion in outstanding debt to the ESM and EFSF using a bond exchange involving the four main Greek banks. The paper describes the exchange structure and the need to respect conflicting public policy objectives. It aims to contribute to the debate about sovereign debt restructuring generated by the IMF’s September 2020 discussion paper, The International Architecture for Resolving Sovereign Debt Involving Private-sector Creditors. It highlights how useful the ESM approach was in helping overcome financial difficulties by combining capital markets operations with stability support.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this discussion paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the ESM or ESM policy. No responsibility or liability is accepted by the ESM in relation to the accuracy or completeness of the information, including any data sets, presented in this paper.

Source: European Stability Mechanism | Discussion Paper Series | Volume 2021 no. 15 | March 2021 | 29 Pages

Copyright © European Stability Mechanism, 2021| All rights reserved. Any reproduction, publication and reprint in the form of a different publication, whether printed or produced electronically, in whole or in part, is permitted only with the explicit written authorisation of the European Stability Mechanism.