Greece is set to purchase back about half of its debt owned by private investors, broadly succeeding in a bond buyback that is key to the country's international bailout, a Greek government official said yesterday.
Greek and foreign bondholders offered the targeted 30 billion euros (US$38.8b) in the deal, which is central to efforts by Greece's euro zone and International Monetary Fund lenders to cut its debt to manageable levels.
"The buyback went well ... The amount offered by investors was within the range expected, about 30 billion euros," the official said.
The buyback accounts for about half of a broader, 40-billion euro EU/IMF debt relief package for Athens agreed in November. Under its terms, Athens will spend up to 10 billion euros of borrowed money to buy back bonds with a nominal value of 30 billion euros.
Since the bonds are to be bought far below their nominal value, the country's net debt burden would fall by about 20 billion euros.
A buyback will ensure that the IMF will stay on board.
No formal announcement is expected before tomorrow.