The International Swaps and Derivatives Association — responsible for determining when a credit event (that would trigger credit default swap payouts) occurs — just updated its Q&A on Greek sovereign debt to account for the newest changes to the private sector bond swap discussed last night.
Their prognosis? If the swap is indeed voluntary, then there won’t be a credit event, even with haircuts of 50%.
But the likelihood that most bondholders will agree to those kinds of losses without significant coercion is slim. At most, about 85% of bondholders said they would participate in the swap when the expected haircut was just 21% — fewer than the 90% participation Greece was demanding at the time.
Participation in a 50% swap is sure to be much smaller if the deal is as “voluntary” as EU leaders are saying it is.
The ISDA says it can’t make a final decision on whether or not there will be a credit event until a formal decision is made:
UPDATE OCTOBER 27: The determination of whether the Eurozone deal with regard to Greece is a credit event under CDS documentation will be made by ISDA’s EMEA Determinations Committee when the proposal is formally signed, and if a market participant requests a ruling from the DC. Based on what we know it appears from preliminary news reports that the bond restructuring is voluntary and not binding on all bondholders. As such, it does not appear to be likely that the restructuring will trigger payments under existing CDS contracts. In addition, it is important to note that the restructuring proposal is not yet at the stage at which the ISDA Determinations Committee would be likely to accept a request to determine whether a credit event has occurred.
Read their full Q&A on Greek sovereign debt here.