ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece wants to quickly complete a voluntary bond exchange and is confident of IMF support as long as it fulfills its economic adjustment targets, the country's finance minister said on Thursday.
Euro zone leaders last week agreed on a wide-ranging new rescue package for Greece, including a bond exchange by banks, insurers and other holders of its debt, to cover funding needs and avoid default.
"Discussions (on implementing the bond swap) started very encouragingly, we want the scheme to be implemented fast and the duration of its implementation to be as brief as possible," Evangelos Venizelos told lawmakers in parliament.
Greek officials, advisers and representatives for bank lobby the Institute of International Finance (IIF) started their first working meeting on carrying out the plan on Thursday.
"We have begun and will complete (the project) soon because we have specific bond maturities ahead in August and September and we want to be done before or have formed a transitory framework until we complete the project," Venizelos said.
IIF has estimated a take-up rate of about 90 percent for the voluntary scheme, which gives banks, funds and insurers the option to swap Greek debt with new bonds with maturities of up to 30 years.
Venizelos told lawmakers the IMF would continue to support Greece as long as the country delivered on its economic reform targets.
"As long as Greece fulfills its obligations, the IMF's support will be a given. The U.S. government will support Greece bilaterally and through the IMF," the minister said.
Venizelos also told lawmakers that the Greek banking system had begun to see an inflow of deposits this week. Greek banks had seen a steady outflow of deposits this year on worries over the debt crisis.
Athens appointed the law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton as its international legal adviser on implementing the so-called private sector involvement (PSI) in the debt swap and Lazard Freres as its financial adviser.
Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas and HSBC will be the joint dealers that will co-manage the transactions.
(Reporting by Harry Papachristou; Writing by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Susan Fenton)