Greek bank postpones share sale in Finansbank
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
General Manager Temel Güzeloğlu poses at a press evert to present Finansbank’s enpa.com, a new digital platform.Turkey’s Finansbank is not planning a second public offering, Finansbank General Manager Temel Güzeloğlu said on Oct. 4 at the “Finansbank-Enpara.com” press conference.
Greece’s largest bank, the National Bank of Greece (NBG), and its subsidiaries own 95 percent of Finansbank. The remaining 5 percent were purchased by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a subsidiary of the World Bank, back in 2007. In 2010 the NBG had announced that it was planning to sell up to 25 percent of Finansbank shares, depending on market conditions. However, with the deterioration in global economic conditions, this decision was put on the back burner.
When asked at the press conference whether Turkey would be able to sustain two public offerings (referring to the upcoming Halkbank public offering), Güzeloğlu said: “In the short-term I think that it will. Right now there is a lot of money in the developed economies, and I think they will come to Turkey if they find meaningful investment opportunities.”
Touching on the Turkish banking sector’s profits, Reuters quoted Güzeloğlu as saying that banks channeled their profits into their capital and that they used this capital to pull themselves out of the “swamp” in the event of a crisis.
“In order for banks to lend, they need capital. Capital is increased when profits are added to it. If you want to see a banking sector that continues to lend, the banking sector needs to profit,” he said, adding that in the event of banking sector profits falling, banks would be unable to lend. This in turn would cause the economy to shrink. Güzeloğlu stressed that banks needed to charge per banking transaction in order to be able to provide services to customers.
According to Greek daily To Vima, the management of NBG and Greek Eurobank is considering a merger to form Greece’s largest bank. The source claims than an agreement between the two banks is near. To Vima also claims that both the government and Central Bank have given this the green light.