European banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions held talks in Rome Thursday in their latest effort to get the private sector involved in saving Greece from default.
Greece was granted a euro110 billion ($157 billion) bailout last May, but needs an extra euro115 billion in financing until mid-2014 to avoid bankruptcy, according to the European Commission.
Eurozone countries, which have supplied the majority of the exiting loans, want Greece's private creditors, which have so far been spared in all euro area bailouts, to contribute to the second rescue package.
The meeting is one in a series of similar get-togethers held under the auspices of the International Institute of Finance, a Washington-based lobby group that counts the world's biggest banks, investment funds and insurance companies among its members.
"There are a range of discussions among various groups to try and refine the options that were discussed in the IIF's Board statement of last Friday," an IIF spokesman said in an email.
An official with the Italian Treasury Ministry said no decisions were made in the closed-door meeting. The official was speaking on condition of anonymity in line with ministry policy.
In its statement last week, the IIF said private creditors were prepared to support Greece as part of a broader rescue program that includes public-sector loans.
But discussions on the private sector contributions have proven difficult, since rating agencies have said that the schemes proposed so far could force banks to write down the value of Greek debt and would likely be seen as a selective default by Greece.
The European Central Bank has said that any default rating has to be avoided, since it could hurt investor confidence in banks throughout the currency union and other struggling eurozone countries.
Last week's IIF statement said banks were considering a rollover of certain Greek bonds _ which would see lenders buying up new bonds as old ones expire _ or extending the maturity of some bonds. The statement also mentioned the option of bond buybacks, which could see Greece or another publicly backed institution buying up Greek bonds at current market prices, which are far below the face value of these bonds.
However, the idea of bond buybacks funded by the eurozone's bailout facility was rejected by Germany earlier this year and, according to an EU official, did not gain much traction during a recent conference call between the currency union's finance ministers.
Steinhauser contributed from Brussels.
(This version CORRECTS bailout's conversion to dollars.)