ATHENS, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Greece plans to roll over about 4.5 billion euros of bonds maturing in March next year to partly plug a funding shortfall, its finance minister told a Greek newspaper on Monday.
"We are thinking of rolling over the bonds issued by the finance ministry in exchange for preferred shares from banks, about 4.5 billion euros. This means covering a big part of the funding gap," Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras told Naftemporiki financial daily in an interview.
Under its latest bailout programme, Athens will be financed until the second half of 2014, when it hopes to tap the bond markets, from which it has been excluded since 2010.
The IMF and Greece estimate that the country faces a funding gap of nearly 11 billion euros for 2014-15.