Euroclear Bank efficiently swaps 30% of foreigner-held Greek debt
Greece announced earlier this year that more than 85% of its private sector creditors agreed to swap their bonds for new securities (at about 50% less face value). This transformed the exchange offer into a mandatory transaction for all Greek government bonds. Euroclear Bank, a leading settlement and asset-servicing provider for cross-border transactions, processed instructions representing more of the programme's nominal value than any other settlement infrastructure service provider outside Greece that was involved with the swap.
Commencing on 24 February and closing on 8 March, this operation supported the largest-ever sovereign debt restructuring. Euroclear Bank processed more than 4,000 client instructions during this period.
Pierre Slechten, Managing Director in charge of Asset Servicing & Transaction Operations and Client Services at Euroclear Bank, said: "Our staff was well prepared to manage the operational challenges associated with this exchange offer. The entire process ran smoothly, aided by the excellent communication between Euroclear Bank and the Greek authorities. Together, with our agents, we spent about six months preparing intensively for this event. We are proud that Euroclear Bank's operations teams could directly and successfully contribute to the smooth swap of Greek debt during such a short period of time. We also credit the many different teams in Greece and at Euroclear Bank for the collaborative efforts to meet such an operationally challenging responsibility with such calm and efficiency."
It is estimated that about 70% of Greek government bonds are held by foreign investors (primarily banks).
Euroclear UK & Ireland
Euroclear Bank provides settlement and related securities services for cross-border transactions involving domestic and international bonds, equities, derivatives and investment funds. Serving major financial institutions located in more than 90 countries, Euroclear Bank, based in Brussels, is part of the Euroclear group. Euroclear Bank is rated AA+ by Fitch Ratings and AA by Standard & Poor's.
The Euroclear group also includes Euroclear Belgium, Euroclear Finland, Euroclear France, Euroclear Nederland, Euroclear Sweden and Euroclear UK & Ireland. Euroclear also owns Xtrakter, operator of the TRAX trade matching and reporting system. In 2011, the Euroclear group settled the equivalent of more than EUR 580 trillion in securities transactions, representing 163 million domestic and cross-border transactions, and held more than EUR 22 trillion in assets for clients.