ATHENS Dec 8 Foreign investors have offered
between 15 and 16 billion euros ($19.4-20.7 billion) of Greek
government bonds in a debt buy-back programme, according to an
initial estimate given by newspapers on Saturday.
The plan is central to efforts by Greece's euro zone and
International Monetary Fund lenders to cut its borrowing to
manageable levels and unlock aid.
The preliminary estimate cited by financial dailies
Naftemporiki and Imerisia would suggest the buyback plan is on
track to succeed.
Under the plan, Athens aims to spend 10 billion euros of
borrowed money to buy back bonds with a nominal value of about
30 billion euros ($38.8 billion). Since the bonds would be
bought far below their nominal value, the country's net debt
burden would fall by about 20 billion euros.
The papers said the final figure for offers from foreign
investors may increase once Greece's debt agency completes an
evaluation of them.
A deadline to submit the offers expired on Friday. The
newspapers did not say how they had come by the initial numbers.
Greek lenders, which hold about 17 billion euros worth
bonds, already announced on Friday that they would take part in
($1 = 0.7735 euros)
(Reporting by Harry Papachristou)