Greece seeks details of global holders of its bonds

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou
Image caption Under the terms of the planned debt swap, Greece will get longer to repay its existing debts

Greece has written to finance ministers around the world to help assess global holdings of Greek government bonds.

It is part of the preparations for a debt swap, which will see private holders of Greek bonds asked to exchange them for other bonds that pay less interest over a longer time frame.

The debt swap was agreed between Greece and other eurozone nations in July so it could get a second bailout.

Eurozone finance ministers are due to discuss the bailout later.

Their scheduled phone conversations are expected to focus on the continuing demand of the Finnish government that it receives collateral from Greece before it participates in the second bailout.

Finland is scheduled to contribute 1.4bn euros ($2bn; £1.2bn) towards Greece's second financial package, which is worth a total 109bn euros.

According to reports it wants 500m euros as security, either in cash, or Greek privatisation assets.

Finland's Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen said on Thursday: "Finland's demands for collateral should not have come as a surprise to anyone."

Spending cuts

Greece needs 90% of private bondholders to agree to the debt swap plans.

The swap applies to Greek bonds due to mature in 2014 or 2020.

In addition, Greece has agreed to continue with a number of spending cuts to reduce its debts.

Greece's government debt totals 142.8% of the country's annual economic output.

Its first bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund was agreed in May 2010, totalling 110bn euros.

As Greece continues preparations for the debt swap, the markets appear far from impressed.

In Thursday trading, the yield on Greek government bonds rose to yet another high above 18%, an indication of the lack on confidence in the country's finances.

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