Citicorp vice chairman William Rhodes has expressed confidence that almost all of South Korea's foreign creditor banks will agree to swap their short-term loans for longer-term ones.
In prepared remarks, Mr. Rhodes said Monday that he expected Japanese banks, the single-largest bloc of creditors to South Korea, to "fully participate" in the loan swap. Citicorp is acting as agent on the exchanges.
Mr. Rhodes met with European bankers in Paris and Frankfurt on Tuesday and Wednesday to sell them on the agreement.
Earlier this week, Mr. Rhodes predicted that banks will commit themselves to the swap by March 12 and sign a full-fledged agreement by the end of the month. The actual exchange is scheduled to be carried out on April 8.
The swap agreement is intended to help South Korea resolve a liquidity shortage triggered by a financial crisis that started last year. The agreement, reached Jan. 28, calls for foreign banks to exchange some $23 billion in short-term, nontrade credits for loans with maturities of one, two, or three years.