The chances Greece will leave the euro zone this year fell on Friday, according to bookmakers’ odds, with one firm saying the likelihood is now lower than at any time this year and another suspending betting altogether.
Optimism that the country will stay in the 19-nation bloc for the remainder of 2015 has risen after the Greek government submitted last-minute reform proposals to its creditors, proposals which French President Francois Hollande said were “serious and credible”.
Talks will now resume between Athens and creditor institutions in the hope that a deal will be reached before Sunday’s deadline, keeping Greece in the euro zone.
Punters are betting that because the proposals put forward by Athens appear to be even tougher than the ones rejected in last Sunday’s referendum, Greece’s creditors will accept them and continue to give aid to keep the country afloat.
British bookmaker Ladbrokes offered odds of 3/1 on Greece leaving the euro zone this year, implying a 25 percent chance. That’s the lowest probability this year.
“The betting markets are giving Greece a hefty vote of confidence going into the weekend’s negotiations,” said Alex Donohue of Ladbrokes.
Rivals Paddy Power on Friday suspended betting on a 2015 Grexit.
“The punters certainly seem to think there’s signs of Greece lightening up and have been backing Greece to stay in the Eurozone at any price they can get,” Paddy Power said.
Paddy Power had been lengthening its Grexit odds all week. Earlier on Friday they were 23/10, implying a 30 percent probability; on Thursday 11/8, implying a 42 percent chance; and on Tuesday 11/10, reflecting a 48 percent likelihood.
UK bookmaker William Hill said on Friday its odds of a 2015 Grexit had widened to 10/3, reflecting a 23 percent chance.
On Thursday, they stood at 13/8, implying a 38 percent chance and on Wednesday they were 5/4, implying a roughly 45 percent probability.
A growing number of economists, however, still reckon Greece will eventually leave the euro zone.
Following last Sunday’s referendum in which Greek voters rejected an earlier offer from the country’s creditors, Citi, JP Morgan, Barclays, Societe Generale, Royal Bank of Scotland and BNP Paribas all said Grexit at some point in the future is now more likely than not.