Greece Extends Debt Buyback for Extra Day

Angela Merkel and Antonis Samaras
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Angela Merkel and Antonis Samaras

Greece extended a debt buyback invitation that forms part of its international bailout for a day and a half to try to get more offers from bondholders, its debt agency (PDMA) said on Monday.

In an offer that had been due to end on Friday,Athens aimed to buy back bonds with a face value of about 30 billion euros ($^38.7 billion) at deeply discounted prices.

That would lower its debt load to make it more manageable, and meet a condition demanded by its lenders for the release of its next aid tranche of 34.4 billion later this month.

A senior Greek banker who spoke on condition of anonymity said Athens aimed to get another 3 to 4 billion euros worth of bonds offered for exchange.

"This will be easily covered by Greek banks, if foreign bondholders do not offer more," the banker told Reuters.

Newspaper Ta Nea said earlier on Monday Greece had received 26-27 billion euros in offers.

The PDMA said on Monday it had extended the offer to noon GMT on Tuesday.

Greek banks and insurers had offered about 10 billion euros of bonds out of their total holdings of about 17 billion euros, the banker said.

Shortly before the Friday deadline expired,Greek banks got board approval to offer as much as 100 percent of their bond holdings to make the buyback work.