Pension funds not part of buyback, says PM

Greek Prime Minister Antoni's Samaras has said that pension funds won't be part of the country's bond buyback scheme, designed to shave nearly 30 billion euros ($39 billion) off the country's debt.

In an interview with the Sunday edition of Ethnos newspaper, Antonis Samaras said Greek banks will benefit from the transaction, because the book value of the bonds they hold is really low.

Greek bank stocks have been hit over the past week after it became clear that the buyback scheme was a precondition for the release of nearly 44 billion euros ($57 billion) in bailout aid from Greece's creditors.

Samaras says buying back the holdings of Greece's pension funds was never in play because this would not reduce Greece's debt.

Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras is due in Brussels again on Monday – for the fourth Eurogroup meeting in as many weeks – where he is expected to present to his eurozone peers details of a bond buyback scheme. [Combined reports]