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Greek debt swap talks drag into the weekend

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Greek debt swap talks drag into the weekend


Greece’s private creditors say a crucial deal to slash the country’s debt is coming together. But no agreement was reached on Friday and talks with Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos will continue over the weekend.

With bankruptcy looming in March, Athens needs to secure a debt swap in which private creditors are being asked to take a loss on their bondholdings.

If the deal is completed properly, with comprehensive participation, analyst Nikos Christodoulou of Merit Securities does not believe that danger exists.

“We are probably headed for a coordinated default within the euro, not a disorderly default,” he said.

Cash-strapped Athens is eager to get things wrapped up before Monday’s meeting of euro zone finance ministers. Greece’s official lenders, the EU and IMF, have warned that no further bailout funds will be released until the bond swap deal is done.

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