Greece received 26.5 billion euros in buyback bids by end-Friday

BRUSSELS Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:36am EST

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Greece received a total of 26.5 billion euros ($34.3 billion) in offers for its debt buyback at the close of business on December 7, a senior euro zone official told Reuters on Monday.

The official said the price was 33.4 percent.

Greece has extended its offer to buy back debt until Tuesday, seeking more bids from bondholders after falling just short of a target to retire bonds worth 30 billion euros at a cost of just 10 billion euros.

The buyback is designed to provide for about half of a 40-billion euro debt relief package for Athens agreed last month by the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

The offer had been due to end on Friday. The Greek debt agency extended the offer to 7 a.m. EDT on Tuesday.

"We are confident that there is still scope for additional tenders by domestic and international investors to ensure a successful debt buyback," European Commission spokesman Simon O'Connor told a regular briefing in Brussels.

Euro zone finance ministers will meet on Thursday in Brussels to review the buyback operation and formally release the next disbursement of loans to Greece under its second international rescue program.

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski, additional reporting by Robin Emmott; editing by Rex Merrifield)

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