Greece Bars Hedge Funds From Friday Debt Offering

Mar 8 2010 | 4:09am ET

Facing a possible default and strikes over austerity measures, the Greeks would be forgiven for taking bond buyers wherever they could be found. But it seems anger can overpower even necessity.

Greece sought to exclude hedge funds from participating in Friday’s €5 billion bond issue, directing the bankers leading the offering not to allocate any bonds to hedge funds or any potential proxies. The country—and its allies in Europe—blame hedge funds for the troubles faced by Greece. Hedge funds have prospered in recent months shorting its sovereign debt.

Athens frequently requests that long-term investors be favored in its debt sales. But according to the Financial Times, the government’s instructions went a good deal further than usual last week.

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