Greek markets extend rally on debt deal optimism

 
Jessica Morris
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Greece markets urged today (Source: Getty)

Greek markets extended their rally this afternoon, following an apparent easing of tensions over the country's bailout programme thanks to a debt swap programme devised by new finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.

The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) jumped as much as 11 per cent this afternoon, led higher by the banking sector. Piraeus Bank and Alpha Bank soared 18 per cent and 12.5 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile, this helped calm spiking Greek bonds, and the yield on its 10-year debt fell as low as nine per cent. This signifies investors think the country's is now less likely to default on its debt.

The Greek government wants to swap its debt for so-called growth bonds linked to economic growth, and perpetual bonds, which would replace debt currently held by the European Central Bank (ECB).

A deal would give Greece more time to repay its debts, and under this arrangement, it would never actually be required to repay its debt - only the interest on it.

Greek elections resulted in the formation of an anti-austerity coalition government, which came to power with a mandate to renegotiate the country's crippling debt burden.

Since then, Varoufakis has been on something of a charm offensive, meeting with the politicians of various European countries to talk through his proposals.

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