March 9, 2012 / 3:19 AM / 6 years ago

Greece swap numbers "look promising": IMF's Lagarde

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A historic bond swap aimed at reducing Greece’s crushing debt and averting default looks promising, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Thursday.

In an interview with Charlie Rose on PBS television, Lagarde said it appeared the participation rate of private creditors in the restructuring deal would be high.

“As we speak, it looks like it’s going through, and it looks as if the numbers will be promising,” Lagarde said.

Lagarde also said she believed the risk of an acute crisis in the Euro zone had been removed for now. Investors have worried the Greek crisis could lead to broader problems for other debt-heavy countries, including Spain and Italy.

The IMF has called on Europe to build a strong financial firewall to prevent the crisis in Greece and elsewhere from spreading.

The IMF board will discuss a second bailout for Greece on March 15, which is part of a 130 billion Euro rescue package for Athens being arranged by the IMF and the European Union.

Global stocks posted their best day in more than two months on Thursday as the threat of an immediate and uncontrolled Greek default receded.

Reporting By John Crawley and Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Peter Cooney

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