Greek debt better shielded from vultures than Argentina's

viernes 3 de julio de 2015 08:09 GYT

* Most Greek bonds have clauses making restructuring easier

* Investor would need to spend large sums to hold out

* Risks remain as lawyers point to ways around CACs

By John Geddie and Marius Zaharia

LONDON, July 3 (Reuters) - Greece might be spared the decade-long legal battles Argentina faced if it ends up restructuring its debt, although lawyers say vulture funds might still hold Athens to ransom.

The structure of Athens' debt and the use of contract clauses that make it easier for countries to impose losses on bondholders should protect the country from litigious "hold-out" investors, although experts warn they are not fool-proof.

Greece, the first developed country to default on an International Monetary Fund loan, has seen the value of its bonds collapse on fears it is headed for a repeat of 2012, when it wrote down its debt. Greeks will vote on Sunday in a referendum that could ultimately see it leave the euro zone.

But brokers say there are no signs yet of distressed debt investors that prey on bankrupt countries - and have hauled the likes of Argentina through the courts - hovering over Greece.

"There is a small risk that there could be holdout law suits, but nothing like Argentina," said Starla Griffin of Slaney Advisors, a lawyer and member of the Expert Group on Sovereign Debt Restructuring sponsored by the United Nations.   Continuación...