Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, on BBC 1’s The Andrew Marr Show —
ANDREW MARR: It has been reported that you’d appealed to the Chinese and indeed possibly also to the Russians for financial support, that you wanted to sell bonds to those countries.
GEORGE PAPANDREOU: Well actually â€¦
ANDREW MARR: Can you clear that up?
GEORGE PAPANDREOU: Yes. Well actually we haven’t, but we are of course open to diversify our portfolio.
ANDREW MARR: So you wouldn’t rule out Chinese or Russian â€¦
GEORGE PAPANDREOU: I wouldn’t rule out different sovereign funds being interested in our bonds. Also we would like to diversify and will do so if that’s possible.
From the Abu Dhabi newspaper The National, quoting a person familiar with the Dubai World debt restructuring talks —
The Abu Dhabi Government intervened in the Dubai World situation last December with an injection of $10bn of bonds that enabled Nakheel to pay a $4.1bn bill for a sukuk Islamic bond. Some $4.9bn of that total sum has been spent, the person said, with the balance still available for the DFSF. â€œThe $10bn will be enough because it has to be enough,â€ he said.
â€œIt is akin to Greece. If the EU just bailed out Greece, it would be like throwing good money after bad.â€
Two things to note.Â The Greek PM did not restrict himself to Russia or China in the specification of possibly interested sovereign funds vis-a-vis Greek government debt.Â Gulf funds would be an obvious alternative.Â But The National’s probably well-connected source makes it sound like Abu Dhabi might be viewing Greece and Dubai as similar situations and thus sees its portfolio weight already as high as it wants for such circumstances.Â And that’s despite their differences.Â Dubai World is a state-owned but commercial company already in debt restucturing negotiations while Greece clearly has some fiscal restructuring to do, but not debt.Â But still.Â If they’re hoping to sell bonds in the Gulf, they may have some marketing to do first.