Saturday, October 02, 2010

China Offers To Buy Greek Bonds

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao is visting Greece and there promises to strengthen trade ties and to buy Greek bonds, which China already owns, though it seems less clear when these purchases will take place. Wen's own words hints immediate purchases, while statements by other Chinese officials says it won't happen until Greece starts to borrow on their own again, instead of as they do now (with the exception of some short-term security sales) through the IMF and other Euro area countries as intermediaries.

Given the fact that the markets already given the current 785 basis points yield spread to Germany already prices in a 100% certainty of a 53% writedown of debt, that would seem attractive to the Chinese. One alternative explanation would perhaps be though that the Chinese could lend money to the Greeks in return for Greece opposing in the EU sanctions against China due to its currency policy or other EU protectionist measures against China.