Eurogroup deal on Greece gives positive market signal: Greek finance minister

Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos attends a cabinet meeting at the parliament in Athens

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – Greece said on Thursday a deal ending months of an impasse on its bailout program offered markets greater clarity on future debt reprofiling for the indebted country and ease its return to debt markets.

Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said the agreement would allow market access “in due course”.

“There is now light at the end of the tunnel,” Tsakalotos said.

Greece’s creditors said on Thursday they would release a further tranche of funds to Athens and the International Monetary Fund said it stood ready to offer a standby arrangement, removing considerable uncertainty over the fate of the Greek bailout program.

The IMF said it would propose its participation in Greece’s bailout “in principle”, while expecting further clarity on debt relief for the country when its present bailout program expires next year.

Euro zone finance ministers also said they would disburse 8.5 billion euros to cover current financing needs, clearing arrears, and possibly allowing the country to build up a cash buffer that would facilitate future market access.

“I think with this deal the head of the debt management office will get some clearance to try to access (markets) in due course,” the Greek minister said.

Greece lost market access in 2010 and made a small and brief return in 2014, relying on bailout funds since.

(Reporting By Renee Maltezou; Writing by Michele Kambas; Editing by Tom Heneghan)