Is A Big US Bank Betting On A Greek Default In 11 Days?
Bankingnews.gr has disclosed something interesting. According to the Greek website, an account, allegedly a large US bank, has been dumping, in what it classified as "panic selling", its holdings of a 10 Year GGB maturing on April 20, 2010, or in 11 days. What is unclear is whether the bank has been trading for its own account or for a client. What is clear, is that the seller is certainly not too convinced that the bond will see a repayment of principalwhen it matures, in other words believes that Greece will go bankrupt before April 20th.
It is clear that this move is panic.
The seller believes that in the next 11 days Greece will go bankrupt, there will be default or anything else to sell a bond expires in 11 days.
Who sold under a sign is a large U.S. bank.
The only thing that has not been established is sold on behalf of a client or on their own behalf?
Both are negative developments ...
We did some snooping of our own and uncovered one bond issue that is due on April 20, however it is a 5 Year, not a 10 Year as bankingnews.gr claims. The 5 Year bond in question is a €8.22 billion in size, issued at 100.037, and was trading at 99.9008x99.9058.
Yet even if the Greek site simply mistook the tenor of the bond, a TRACE of recent activity indicates a rather substantial spike in trading (and thus both buying and selling).
To be sure, someone is unwilling to take the risk of picking 20 bps through maturity for holding this bond another 11 days. Alternatively, anyone convinced that Greece is going under in two weeks time, and that this bond will trade flat, can arb the accrued interest by selling today with the expectation that the bond will not only plunge but the 3.1% of accrued interest payment will certainly not be owed. One thing that is certain: this is an outflow of €8.2 billion that Greece would certainly much rather not have to stomach. This bond will take out all the incremental cash generated from the most recent "successful" bond auction and then some.
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