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Dexia says can ‘absorb’ Greek, Portuguese debt write-down

Published on 11/05/2011

The head of French-German bank Dexia said on Wednesday that it can survive a future restructuring of Greek debt, and even a fresh Portuguese shock.

A ‘haircut,’ or losses on Greek bonds held by the bank, would be “certainly most unpleasant, and it is a hypothesis I still refuse to contemplate, but absolutely the group can absorb it,” Pierre Mariani said during a conference call with journalists.

“Even with a shock over Portugal,” he underlined.

Mariani said out of 3.7 billion euros ($5.3 billion) of exposure to Greek debt, he would anticipate 900 million euros of losses after tax, a small amount compared to the bank’s capital buffer of some 19 billion euros.

He said Dexia had another two billion euros’ worth of exposure to Portuguese debt.

The head of France’s Societe Generale and BNP Paribas banks have made similar remarks in the last week.