IMF awaits Greek debt buyback for aid deal

The International Monetary Fund said Thursday it was awaiting the results of Greece's sovereign debt buyback before it would approve a revised rescue program.

Greece announced Wednesday it would launch the bond buyback program with its creditors, the IMF and the European Union, early next week, in an effort to reduce its debt payment burden.

The buyback program, set to wind up by December 13, is part of a revised bailout program agreed by the IMF and eurozone finance ministers in Brussels on Tuesday.

Under the terms of the deal, the IMF and the eurozone agreed to release 43.7 billion euros ($56.7 billion) in four installments from December to March to enable Greece to avoid bankruptcy.

"We will be looking for implementation of the buyback operation and contingent on that implementation and the success of the buyback program we'll be in a position to put forward the recommendation to our board," IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said at a regularly scheduled news briefing.

Rice said there was no date set for the board meeting.

"If this agreement is implemented as described, then it's the basis for going forward," Rice said.

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