Greece To Pay Hedge Fund Holdouts In Full

May 15 2012 | 12:56pm ET

After vowing not to do so, Greece has agreed to repay in full a €435 million bond issue that matured yesterday.

Greece spent months fighting with holdouts from its €206 billion bond swap, including a number of hedge funds. The country said it would default before paying in full after 96% of bondholders accepted a 75% haircut on the bonds. But facing political turmoil and another election, after this month's contest wiped out the country's leading political parties and which was seen as a vociferous rejection of the stringent bailout terms imposed by Europe on the country, Greece elected to pay the bonds after failing to strike a deal with the holdouts.

"The decision weighed carefully all relevant factors and implications as well as the current conjecture," the Greek Finance Ministry said. Among the issues was the wisdom of defaulting on the debt amidst the political crisis, with new elections coming next month after no party was able to form a government following this month's elections.

Greece can afford to pay the holdouts because it got €4.2 billion in additional bailout funds last week.

"Just think how angry the Green investors are going to be," one banker involved in the restructuring told the Financial Times. "They said all along they wouldn't pay these evil hedge funds and now they are."

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