November 30, 2012 / 3:37 PM / 7 years ago

Euro zone looking for Greece to buy back 40 billion euros of debt - officials

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The euro zone is hoping Greece will be able to repurchase at least 40 billion euros of its own bonds in a buyback operation with private investors, two euro zone officials said on Friday.

Euro zone finance ministers expect Athens to spend 10.2 billion euros to buy back at least two-thirds of the 63 billion euros of bonds still in private hands after a debt restructuring in March. The details of the buyback will be published on Monday.

The ministers have said the price offered by Athens for the bonds under the voluntary operation should not be higher than the closing price of November 23.

Because there are various maturities trading, the price range is from 25.15 euro cents to 34.41 cents.

Asked what the expected size of the buyback would be, one euro zone official said: “Minimum 40 billion euros” and a second confirmed the expectation.

Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; editing by Luke Baker

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