ATHENS May 1 Greece's third-biggest lender,
Alpha Bank, said on Wednesday it found enough
investors to back its recapitalisation plan, thus avoiding
falling under state control as part of the country's
Alpha's 457 million euro rights issue will be fully
underwritten by a syndicate of international investment banks,
including J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, HSBC
and France's Credit Agricole, the lender
said in a statement.
Greece's four major lenders, including Alpha, are being
recapitalised with a total 27.5 billion euros ($36.3 billion) to
restore their solvency after the country's debt crisis.
They will get at least 90 percent of that money from bank
bailout fund HFSF, which is financed by the European Union and
the International Monetary Fund.
But under the terms of their bailout, they will be
nationalised if they fail to attract private investors to cover
the remaining 10 percent.
Alpha becomes the second Greek lender after Piraeus Bank
to say it has already met the 10 percent requirement.
Piraeus, the second-biggest lender, has already said it
raised more than 500 million euros from Portuguese peer BCP
Millennium and France's Societe Generale,
whose Greek units it took over earlier this year.
Alpha said on Wednesday it became the first Greek bank to
have investors fully underwriting its new shares.
Investors in Alpha will get 1.944456 new shares for every
existing one, said the bank which priced the new stock at 0.44
euros each. Alpha's existing shares closed at 0.96 euros in
Athens on Tuesday, before a May 1 holiday.
National, Greece's biggest lender, has said it
aimed to beat the 10-percent recapitalisation target. Eurobank
, the smallest top-tier bank, called off the search for
private investors, saying it would fall under full state control