UPDATE 1-Greece's Alpha Bank offers to buy back bonds to boost capital

Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:22am EDT

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ATHENS, April 19 (Reuters) - Greece's third-biggest lender Alpha Bank on Friday launched an offer to buy back at a discount subordinated and hybrid bonds with a nominal value of 317 million euros ($415 million) as part of moves to strengthen its capital base.

Greece's international lenders have asked banks to reduce the remaining amounts of hybrid securities they have issued as part of liability management moves to facilitate their recapitalisation.

The country's top four banks, including Alpha, need 27.5 billion euros in fresh funds to restore their solvency levels, funded mostly out of Greece's EU/IMF rescue loans, and help them regain access to interbank lending.

Alpha is offering to buy back from investors five series of securities in cash, at prices ranging from 35 percent to 55 percent of their nominal value. Its offer expires on May 9 with expected settlement on May 14.

"The offers are part of a range of proposals to strengthen the core Tier 1 capital base of the bank," Alpha said.

J.P. Morgan and HSBC will act as deal managers.

Earlier this week Alpha got the green light from its shareholders for a 4.57 billion-euro recapitalisation plan to improve its solvency ratios and avoid full nationalisation. ($1=0.7644 euros) (Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas; Writing by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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