* Banks receive positive signals - sources
* S&P says too soon to judge impact of debt package
FRANKFURT, June 29 Banks have received positive
signals from ratings agencies that they will not call a French
rollover plan for Greek debt a default, three people close to
German lenders said on Wednesday.
"The whole charm of the French model is that is was worked
out in a such way that it will be fine with the ratings
agencies," one of the people said.
Another source said the fact the French model was developed
by banks themselves implied the rollover will be fully voluntary
-- a precondition for ratings agencies not to declare a default.
However, a senior official at Standard & Poor's said on
Moday it was too soon to judge the ratings impact of the
discussed debt relief package.
"I can tell you only that we cannot give a judgment on
something we have not even seen," Moritz Kraemer, S&P's head of
European sovereign ratings, had said.
German banks agreed in principle on Tuesday to use a French
proposal for banks to roll over some Greek debt for 30 years, as
the basis for negotiating private-sector participation in a
Greek debt rollover, sources told Reuters.
Final detail of an agreement, such as the volume of any
rollover and the coupon payments of new bonds, need to be
finalised, the sources also said.
French banks, the most exposed to the Greek crisis, had
presented an outline agreement to roll over holdings of maturing
Greek government bonds as part of a wider European plan to avoid
The French proposal for restructuring Greek debt involves
two options for bondholders during a period from July 2011 to
end-June 2014, according to a draft seen by Reuters.
Banks would also reinvest 70 percent of the proceeds when
Greek bonds fall due and cash out the rest. Of the amount
reinvested, 50 percent would go into the new 30-year bonds and
20 percent would go into AAA-rated zero coupon bonds.
A senior European Central Bank policymaker rejected the idea
of a Greek debt solution involving EU guarantees.
Asked about a scenario under which banks exchanged their
Greek bonds for new paper backed by guarantees from EU states --
an approach similar to that used in Latin America in the 1980s
-- Juergen Stark told German newspaper Die Zeit: "This
instrument is disqualified ... It would break the ban on support
-- the no bail-out clause in article 125 of the EU Treaty."
(Reporting by Arno Schuetze, Kathrin Jones, Philipp Halstrick;
Editing by Dan Lalor)