Europe bailout fund chief sees no quick China deal

Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:14am EDT
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BEIJING (Reuters) - The head of Europe's bailout fund said Friday he does not expect to reach a conclusive deal with Chinese leaders during a visit to Beijing but expects the surplus-rich country to continue buying bonds issued by the fund.

Klaus Regling, chief executive of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), said the bailout deal with Greece was an exceptional case and he saw no need to repeat it for other nations.

"We all know China has a particular need to invest surpluses," he said at a news conference, referring to the country's foreign exchange reserves of $3.2 trillion -- the world's biggest stockpile.

China has been a regular buyer of bonds issued by the EFSF and analysts estimate about a quarter of its reserves are held in euro-denominated assets.

Regling was in Beijing just a day after euro zone leaders struck a last-minute deal to contain the bloc's debt crisis that has undermined financial markets globally on fears that it could drag the global economy into another recession.

European leaders are now under pressure to finalize the details of their plan to slash Greece's debt burden and strengthen their efforts to revive the zone.

Regling was due to meet officials from China's central bank and finance ministry Friday. While China has surplus cash, Regling said he is in contact with sovereign funds globally.

He said the EFSF was designing new investment instruments and testing models to scale up the fund. He wanted to hear how the fund could structure investments that would attract capital, he said.

The 440-billion-euro EFSF was set up last year and has already been used to provide aid to Portugal, Ireland and Greece.   Continued...

<p>Klaus Regling, CEO of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), speaks during a conference about the future of the Euro in Lisbon October 13, 2011. REUTERS/Hugo Correia</p>