UPDATE 2-Greece turns to Beijing for 25 bln-euro bond sale-FT

* Greece seeking to sell up to 25 bln euros in China-FT,
WSJ

* Greek finmin cited as saying China part of debt roadshow

* Athens, Beijing dismiss mooted stake sale in Greek
bank-FT
(Recast with Wall Street Journal report on Greek finmin)

SINGAPORE, Jan 27 (BestGrowthStock) – Greece is wooing China to buy
up to 25 billion euros ($35 billion) of its bonds in its
efforts to avert one of Europe’s biggest debt crises, the
Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal reported on
Wednesday.

U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs (GS.N: ) has been
promoting a Greek bond sale to Beijing and the State
Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), which manages
China’s $2.4 trillion foreign exchange reserves, the FT
reported, citing people familiar with the issue.

Greece said on Tuesday it will sell more bonds in February,
emboldened after its first debt issue of the year was heavily
oversubscribed, but the high price will raise pressure for
unpopular spending cuts. [ID:nLDE60P2BO]

Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou will visit
the United States and Asia, including China, on a road show
next month, the WSJ said.

“There is a lot of liquidity in China. There are big funds
in China. This is why China is going to be part of the road
show,” Papaconstantinou told the WSJ in an interview.

The newspaper cited a source as saying Athens was trying to
place as much as 25 billion euros overall with Chinese
investors.
Greece’s debt is heading above 120 percent of gross domestic
product, triggering downgrades by debt rating agencies and
market speculation about whether Athens can service its
obligations or might even be forced to leave the euro zone.

Greece says it plans to cut its budget deficit this year to
8.7 percent of GDP from 12.7 percent in 2009.

A longer-term stability plan aims to bring the shortfall to
2.8 percent in 2012, within the European Union’s 3 percent
limit, but markets doubt whether proposed spending cuts are
realistic in a country where reforms often stumbled over street
protests.

The FT said Gary Cohn, Goldman Sachs chief operating
officer, has made two trips to Athens — last November and this
month — to meet Prime Minister George Papandreou and senior
officials.

It said Beijing has not agreed to such a purchase.

Athens has rejected a suggestion that a Chinese bank should
acquire a strategic stake in National Bank of Greece (NBG)
(NBGr.AT: ), the country’s largest lender, FT said.

Goldman Sachs mooted the sale of equity in NBG to Bank of
China (3988.HK: ), and made a similar proposal to China
Investment Corp [CIC.UL], China’s sovereign wealth fund, it
reported citing officials.

Chinese officials said CIC was not interested and that
regulators would not let Bank of China make such a risky
investment, the paper said.

The FT said Goldman Sachs and CIC declined comment and a
spokesman from Bank of China said: “I haven’t heard anything
about it.”

The paper quoted Apostolos Tamvakakis, NBG’s chief
executive as saying he knew nothing about the deal.

Investment Research

($1 = .7108 Euro)
(Reporting by Anshuman Daga & Kazunori Takada; Editing by
Tomasz Janowski)

UPDATE 2-Greece turns to Beijing for 25 bln-euro bond sale-FT