Monday, May 23, 2011

Greek Fire(sale)

One of the wonderful things about general sovereign debt obligations is that they are simply obligations on tax receipts, and not secured (as are other bonds) by physical assets. This leaves some national property unencumbered for sale.

The Greek government has said it will begin to sell stakes in a number of domestic corporations "immediately" in order to raise cash to help reduce its massive debts.

These include stakes in the telecoms firm OTE, state-owned Postbank and the ports of Athens and Thessaloniki.

Earlier, European stock markets fell, partly due to continuing fears about a possible debt restructuring in Greece.

Weak eurozone economic data also hit investor sentiment.

"The cabinet decided to proceed immediately with the sale of stakes in OTE, the Postbank, the Athens and Thessaloniki ports and the Thessaloniki water company in order to front-load its ambitious privatisation programme," said Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou.

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