Major Greek lender set to remain private

Major Greek lender set to remain private

The National Bank of Greece (NBG), one of the country’s four main lenders, has said it had mustered the necessary capital increase to remain private.

“The minimum participation of the private sector in capital increase, as set by law, has been achieved,” the bank said in a statement on June 13.

Details over the funds raised, which according to the bank exceed the necessary ten percent, will be provided at a later date, the bank said.

All four of Greece’s main lenders - that further include Piraeus, Alpha and Eurobank - are in the process of recapitalization, as part of the terms included in the country’s international bailout deal.

A sum of 50 billion euros ($66.8 billion) from Greece’s EU-IMF rescue loans has been earmarked for the recapitalization of Greek banks, which suffered great losses after taking part in a write-down of privately-held Greek government bonds last year. To avoid effective nationalization, the banks are required to raise a tenth of their capital requirements from private investors. The process is expected to be completed this month.

Earlier in June, Alpha Bank announced it had attracted sufficient private investment to avoid being nationalized.
Alpha needed a total of 4.57 billion euros and succeeded in raising 457 million euros, by placing shares with investors.

Auditors from the country’s EU, IMF and European Central Bank creditors are currently in Athens monitoring the debt-laden country’s progress in implementing the terms of its bailout deal.

‘Region should handle on its own’

The head of Europe’s bailout fund says the region should eventually aim to do without help from the IMF.

Klaus Regling’s comments on June 14’s edition of Germany’s daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung add to recent hints from other European policymakers that the bloc should aim to handle future emergencies on its own.

Over the past three years, the European Union’s executive Commission, the European Central Bank and IMF have worked together to manage the bailouts of Greece and three others. Tensions have recently risen, notably after the IMF voiced its concerns over the European approach to the Greek rescue.

Compiled by AP and AFP stories by the daily news staff.