Greece to buy back ?31.9 billion of its bonds to ease national debt

Greece's debt management agency says the country will buy back €31.9 billion ($41.5 billion) worth of its bonds in a debt buyback scheme that is part of a package of measures designed to get the country's mountainous debt back to sustainable levels over the next decade.

The agency said Wednesday that it would buy back about half of its privately held bonds for roughly 33.8 percent of their face value. After spending €11.3 billion for the purchase, the country will be writing off about €20 billion of its debt.

The successful buyback deal was a major requirement before Greece could be granted a long-delayed installment of its international bailout funds. Athens expects the €34.4 billion payment to be approved by its creditors on Thursday.