Greece Extends Debt Buyback to Tuesday


Greece announced it had extended until Tuesday a debt buyback offer on which IMF-EU bailout funds to avert impending bankruptcy depend, and Greek media reported a shortfall in acceptances.

"We have decided to extend the invitation to offer designated securities for exchange to 11 December 2012," the head of Greece's PDMA debt management agency, Stelios Papadopoulos, said in a statement on Monday.

Private holders of Greek sovereign bonds originally had to submit by Friday their offers to participate in the buyback, which offered them 32.2 to 40.1 percent of the face value of the securities.

The PDMA statement said they now had until 1200 GMT on Tuesday to submit bids to participate in the buyback, which aims to cut Greece's debt by about 20 billion euros ($26 billion) and is vital to qualify for more financial aid from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

According to Greek media, the offer was extended as the target of 30 billion euros in bonds tendered had not been achieved.

Greek business daily Naftemboriki said the offers totaled about 27 billion euros. The financial website said the decision to extend the offer after consultations Sunday with eurozone officials.

The head of the PDMA warned investors that any future offers to buy back debt may not be as advantageous.

"Future measures may not involve an opportunity to exit investments (Greek sovereign bonds) at the levels offered for this buyback," Papadopoulos said.

The IMF and the eurozone have agreed to release 43.7 billion euros in rescue loans in four instalments to enable Greece to avoid bankruptcy provided Athens carries out the bond buyback.

The success of the buyback is a condition for the IMF to release its part of the loan funds, while eurozone finance ministers are expected to give their green light at a meeting on Thursday in Brussels.

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