Greece has announced it will accept offers from bondholders for a day longer than originally scheduled as it seeks to buy back its debt for knockdown prices. Apparently, investors are reluctant to take the huge losses.
Greek creditors would be given time until Tuesday to participate in the bond buyback scheme, which was one banking day longer than the original deadline that expired Friday, the Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) announced Monday.
"Holders that have not tendered so far can still take advantage of the liquidity opportunity offered by the invitation," PDMA Director Stelios Papodopolos told the Greek daily Kathimerini.
Athenshopes to retire old government debt worth 30 billion euros ($39 billion) at a cost of just 10 billion euros. It has set a minimum range of 30 to 38 percent of the bonds nominal value and a maximum purchase price of 32 to 40 cents on the euro. The price offer, made last week, has surprised investors as it is above the current market value of Greek debt.
PDMA appears short of the target of buying bonds worth 30 billion euros back, although the debt agency didn't reveal the rate of participation so far.
Papodopoulos said that investors should bear in mind that Greece would continue to consider "further steps to put its debt on a sustainable path," in a veiled reference alluding to a looming debt haircut that might possibly bring even higher write downs for investors.
Under a debt reduction plan agreed with the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, Athens hopes to cut its sovereign debt to a sustainable 124 percent of gross domestic product by 2020.
Funding for the current bond purchasing program was also provided by the three creditors as part of a broader relief package worth 40 billion euros.
uhe/dr (dpa, AP, Reuters)