ATHENS, December 3 (RIA Novosti) – Greece said on Monday it would spend up to 10 billion euros ($13 billion) to buy back its outstanding bonds at a steep discount, in a bid to cut debt and unlock much-needed bailout aid.
The Public Debt Management Agency said it would swap the country’s existing debt with six-month notes issued by the European Financial Stability Facility.
The buyback will be conducted through a “modified Dutch auction” in which bondholders will be offered a maximum price of between 32.2 percent and 40.1 percent of the debt’s face value, depending on the bond maturities.
Under the offer, bondholders must indicate what order of losses they are prepared to shoulder on the bonds before the final buyback price is set.
The auction will allow Greece to meet the required terms set by the international creditors to receive much-needed bailout funds.
Greece has been receiving bailout loans since May 2010, and to date Europe and the IMF have given the country nearly 149 billion euros ($191 billion) of the 240 billion euros promised.
On November 8 the Greek parliament passed a highly unpopular austerity bill, setting out 13.5 billion euros in spending cuts, as well as tax hikes and labor reforms by 2016 as demanded by the troika (the European Union, the IMF and the European Central Bank) to reduce the country’s debt and deficit.