Greece has seen a strong take-up of its bond swap offer to private investors, a government official said on Thursday ahead of a 2000 GMT deadline for accepting the deal, a key element in an 130 billion euro international rescue package.

The pace of responses to the bond offer is good, the percentage of bondholders tendering voluntarily is very high, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters.

It is going well, we are optimistic, he said but declined to say what percentage of the 206 billion euros in outstanding government bonds had been tendered in the offer so far.

(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos)