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THE NEWS WRAP: Eurozone approves Greek bailout deal

Wednesday, 22 February 2012 | By Michelle Hammond

Eurozone finance ministers have sealed a deal for a 160 billion euro bailout of Greece, which includes a major write-down of privately-held Greek sovereign debt.


The deal came after 12 hours of intense talks in Brussels, which saw Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos acting as a go-between for ministers with negotiators for private creditors.


The deal will bring government debt in Athens down to 120.5% of gross domestic product by 2020, according to a eurozone government source.


Government overhaul on executive bonuses


Boards will soon have to install systems to ensure they can claw back executive pay and bonuses where financial accounts are materially ­misstated, the Federal Government says.


The government will also overhaul remuneration reports to require the disclosure of “take home pay”.


Under the changes, boards will be required to provide a detailed explan­ation to shareholders if they fail to claw back wrongly paid bonuses.


The push for greater clawback of bonuses follows new pay rules imposed by regulators of banks following the global financial crisis.


RBA governor defends the big banks


Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens has defended the decision by the big four banks to raise mortgage rates this month after official interest rates were left unchanged.


According to Stevens, the banks’ rate increases were as expected.


“Since the middle of last year, the cash rate has come down 50 points and the cost of funding the books hasn’t come down quite that much,” Stevens said yesterday.


“That’s what everybody’s aggravated about, but those are the facts.”




The Australian dollar was trading slightly lower this morning, despite the announcement of a massive new bailout package for Greece.