Minister wants quick bond swap

The government wants to complete a voluntary bond exchange as quickly as possible and is confident of support from its foreign creditors as long as it fulfills fiscal adjustment targets and other economic reforms, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said on Thursday.

“Discussions started very encouragingly,» Venizelos said, referring to talks on the bond swap. «We want the scheme to be implemented fast and the duration of its implementation to be as brief as possible,» the minister told Parliament.

Government officials, advisers and representatives for the International Institute of Finance (IIF), a bank lobby group, expect the first exchange to start in August.

Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas and HSBC are advising Greek officials on its planned voluntary swap of privately-held government bonds for longer maturity paper, ministry officials said on Wednesday.