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BRUSSELS Euro zone finance ministers and officials are expected to make a final decision on releasing the next payment of aid to Greece at a meeting in Brussels on Thursday. They are also expected to discuss the financing needs of Cyprus. (Brussels newsroom)

ATHENS Greece said on Wednesday it was seeking an additional 1.29 billion euros in funding from foreign lenders so it could accept all of the 31.9 billion euros of debt offered in a bond buyback scheme. The scheme, intended to put Greece’s mountainous debt on sustainable footing and unlock cash to avoid bankruptcy, had a maximum budget of 10 billion euros to buy back the bonds, which trade at a huge discount to face value. But Athens said it would need 11.29 billion euros in funding to be able to buy back all the bonds investors offered. It plans to [...]

ATHENS/BRUSSELS Greece extended its offer to buy back debt until Tuesday, seeking more bids from bondholders after falling 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. Its success is crucial to ensuring Greece’s debt is put back on sustainable footing and – more immediately – to unlocking badly-needed aid for the country. Despite the initial lack of investor interest, the [...]

BRUSSELS 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 [...]

ATHENS Greece will extend a debt buyback that forms part of its international bailout for an extra day to receive additional offers from bondholders, a government official said on Monday. Athens plans to buy back bonds with a face value of about 30 billion euros at deeply discounted prices to lower its debt load. A deadline for bondholders to submit offers expired on Friday. A Greek government official said on Saturday that Athens had received offers of about that sum. “There will be an official announcement later in the day,” said the official on Monday on condition of anonymity. According [...]

ATHENS Greece may ask for additional offers from bondholders in a debt buyback plan that forms part of its international bailout, Greek officials said on Sunday, but the country’s prime minister said the transaction was running smoothly. The invitation might be renewed on Monday to top up the offers already received, three officials close to the proceedings told Reuters. “It’s possible,” a senior government official told Reuters on condition of anonymity. Another government official and a banker confirmed the move was under consideration. Athens plans to buy back bonds with a face value of about 30 billion euros at deeply [...]

ATHENS Greece may ask additional offers from bondholders in a debt buyback plan that forms part of its international bailout, Greek officials said on Sunday. The invitation might be renewed on Monday to top up the offers already received, three officials close to the proceedings told Reuters. “It’s possible,” a senior government official told Reuters on condition of anonymity. Another government official and a banker confirmed the move was under consideration. Athens plans to buy back bonds with a face value of about 30 billion euros at deeply discounted prices to lower its debt load. A deadline for bondholders to [...]

ATHENS Greece aims to shield its banks from possible lawsuits linked to a crucial buyback of sovereign bonds and has no plans to extend the acceptance deadline for the scheme beyond Friday, a senior finance ministry official said. A successful buyback is central to Greece’s efforts to slash its debt. Greek banks will hold board meetings on Friday to decide whether they will join in and must declare their interest by 12 noon EST. Greek lenders’ participation is key for the success of the plan, under which Athens aims to spend 10 billion euros of borrowed money to buy back [...]

BERLIN Greece has scored the worst ranking of all 27 European Union nations in a global league table of perceived official corruption, falling below ex-communist Bulgaria as public anger about graft soars during the country’s crisis. The index on state sector corruption, published by anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI) on Wednesday, also showed other struggling euro zone countries scoring poorly such as Italy which ranked below Romania. Releasing its annual corruption perceptions index, Berlin-based TI urged European and other governments to try much harder to turn promises of fighting graft into action in areas such as public tenders, political party [...]

BERLIN German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she understood her compatriots’ doubts about a bailout deal for Greece, but insisted in an interview that aid for Athens was in the interests of Berlin and all euro zone members. Her words were published on Saturday a day after German lawmakers approved the latest rescue package for Greece by a large majority despite growing unease about the cost to taxpayers. “Of course I feel many citizens’ skepticism, and understand it as well partly, as Greece has often disappointed its partners in the past,” she told Bild am Sonntag newspaper. “This is about so [...]

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