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European stocks fell from a six- month high amid speculation a Greek bailout deal won’t be sufficient to solve the nation’s debt crisis.
European finance ministers approved a 130 billion-euro ($173 billion) bailout package for Greece early today by tapping into European Central Bank profits and convincing investors to provide more debt relief to the Mediterranean country. The deal includes a 53.5 percent writedown for investors in the nation’s debt, according to Luxembourg’s Jean-Claude Juncker, who chaired the talks. Finance ministers haggled into the night in Brussels over the terms of new loans and a possible contribution by central banks.
The odds that Greece will remain encumbered by debt were illustrated by an analysis by European and International Monetary Fund officials that highlighted what could go wrong with a country unable to grow out of its fiscal woes by devaluing its currency. In a worst-case scenario Greece’s debt might balloon to 160 percent of gross domestic product in 2020, it concluded.
Unless 90 percent of investors sign up to the bond swap, Greece may need to use force to secure the debt relief, entering legal difficulties. Finland and Germany are among the nations whose lawmakers must back the new loans and the International Monetary Fund must also decide how much it is willing to contribute to the package.
National benchmark indexes dropped in all of the western European markets, led by Greece’s ASE, which sank 3.5 percent. France’s CAC 40 fell 0.2 percent and Germany’s DAX slid 0.6 percent. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index declined 0.3 percent.
National Bank of Greece led declines in financial shares, falling 9.5 percent to 2.68 euros, after three days of gains. Intesa Sanpaolo SpA dropped 2.4 percent to 1.53 euros in Milan. Deutsche Bank AG, Germany’s largest lender, fell 2.1 percent to 33.85 euros. Julius Baer Group Ltd. declined 2.5 percent to 36.66 Swiss francs.
TNT Express NV fell 2.9 percent to 9.89 euros after the express-delivery service in takeover talks with United Parcel Service Inc. reported a fourth-quarter loss as reorganization costs and losses in emerging markets mounted. Post NL, which owns almost 30 percent of TNT according to data compiled by Bloomberg, dropped 4.3 percent to 4.75 euros.
Tullow Oil Plc dropped 3.6 percent to 1,543 pence, the largest decline in a month, after announcing results for an exploration well in Sierra Leone.
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