Greek central bank confirms major banks need 6.4 bln euros

ATHENS, March 6 Thu Mar 6, 2014 12:06pm EST

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ATHENS, March 6 (Reuters) - Greece's central bank said on Thursday that a health check-up of the country's major banks showed they need 6.4 billion euros ($8.86 billion) in additional capital to withstand potential losses in the future.

That confirmed the results a banking source close to the talks had earlier told Reuters.

The stress test by BlackRock was run in December to assess whether last year's 28 billion euro recapitalisation of Greece's four biggest banks left them capable of absorbing new shocks as bad loans keep rising in the crisis-hit country.

The Bank of Greece said the country's largest lender National Bank needed an additional 2.18 billion euros, while No. 3 lender Eurobank's shortfall was estimated a 2.945 billion euros.

The stress test showed peers Piraeus Bank and Alpha had smaller capital deficits of 425 million and

262 million euros respectively.

The results of the stress test have been delayed for months as Greece squabbled with its EU/IMF lenders over how much its banks really need. The results released on Thursday do not have the EU/IMF's official signoff, but were released anyway to reduce market uncertainty over how much the banks need. ($1 = 0.7225 euros) (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos, editing by Deepa Babington)

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