Billionaire financier George Soros said on Friday the Greek debt crisis was solvable if Germany agreed that any emerging lending would be made with concessionary interest rates.
Current market rates were exaggerated by confusion about how a bailout might work, he told Reuters in an interview.
"If Germany was willing to find a way ... of lending at concessional rates, market rates would come down," he said, on the sidelines of an economic conference.
Soros said confusion over whether Germany was willing to provide funding for Greece at rates below current market levels was effectively boosting those market rates.
"I hope that Germany will realize that talking about lending at market rates is the wrong remedy. It would push Greece into the abyss," he said.
Soros also said there was no room for hedge funds in the Greek debt market at the moment because the risk was too great, particularly in what he termed the "toxic" market for credit default swaps.
Turning to the separate issue of whether China was planning to revalue its currency, Soros said: "I am pretty convinced some kind of understanding (between the United States and China) has been reached."
He added, however, that he was not privy to specific information.
"President Hu would not be coming to the nuclear disarmament conference in Washington if immediately thereafter there would be a confrontation on the renminbi," he said.
The next test of market sentiment towards Greek government debt will be on Tuesday, when the Greek debt management agency (PDMA) plans to sell six-month and one-year bills.
Greece has said it is fully funded for April when an 8.2 billion euro government bond matures, but it is not clear whether 3.85 billion of T-bills maturing in the next two weeks are also covered without next week's sales.
Traders say the market for Greek government bills is effectively frozen but indicative yields are around 7 percent on six-month and one-year paper.
© 2024 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.