Greek government bonds in the Bank's own portfolios
Remark regarding the annual accounts 2011
On 28 March 2012, the National Bank of Belgium ('the Bank') published its annual accounts and management report (Dutch - French), in which it is mentioned that, at the end of the year 2011, the Bank's claims on Greece in its own portfolios were down to € 485.1 million in book value (with a nominal value of € 519.5 million). This reduction stems mainly from the repayment of securities that have reached maturity, as well as the valuation at market value of the limited portfolio (book value of € 13.5 million) which the Bank holds marked to market. The Greek securities held in the statutory portfolio are included in the total amount; owing to repayment at maturity date, the amount in the statutory portfolio has dropped to € 78 million in book value.
As far as Greek public debt is concerned, paragraphs 22.214.171.124 and 2.1.3 of the management report refer to the so-called Private Sector Involvement (PSI) initiative. The PSI entails a restructuring of the Greek debt to ensure long-term sustainability. It has been designed as a voluntary restructuring of debt instruments held by the private sector and does not apply to securities held in portfolio by central banks. To that end, the Bank, like the other Eurosystem central banks, has exchanged all the Greek government bonds that it held in its various portfolios for new securities issued by the Hellenic Republic. The newly acquired securities have the same characteristics as the old ones in terms of their nominal value, interest rate, coupon and redemption dates. But they have not been included in the list of eligible assets for the purpose of restructuring under the PSI. The exchange concerned all Greek bonds in all the Bank's portfolios, both the monetary policy and the own-account portfolios (including the statutory portfolio).
In February 2012, the governments of the Member States whose central banks hold Greek public debt securities undertook to pay Greece an amount equal to the future revenue that their national banks will earn on their Greek bonds up to the year 2020. Since the Bank's Organic Law does not provide any legal basis for the proceeds from (certain components of) portfolios to be assigned directly to the State, that is, outside the statutory rules on the distribution of profits, the commitment entered into by the Member States has no impact on the Bank's financial result, nor on the amount of the balance that accrues to the Treasury in the distribution of its profits.