(Adds details, quotes)
ATHENS, April 29 Greece's third-largest lender
Eurobank became its first bailed-out financial
institution to return to private control on Tuesday after
raising 2.86 billion euros from international investors.
Eurobank's share offer to plug a capital hole was
oversubscribed and priced at 0.31 euros a share, said Greece's
bank bailout fund HFSF, whose 95 percent stake will fall to
about 35 percent after the deal.
Growing confidence that bailed-out Greece is turning the
corner towards recovery has helped its top banks tap
international markets via share and bond issues and raise 7.06
billion euros so far.
"The successful completion of Eurobank's capital increase
constitutes a vote of confidence to the prospects of our bank
and of the Greek economy," Eurobank CEO Christos Megalou said in
The share issue was three times subscribed by foreign and
1.4 times by domestic investors, a banker close to the deal said
on condition of anonymity. Barclays, Deutsche Bank
and JP Morgan led the bookbuilding aimed at
Eurobank peers Alpha and Piraeus last
month raised 2.95 billion euros between them through equity
offerings, and Greece's largest lender by assets National Bank
is planning a 2.5 billion euro cash call next month.
All of Greece's four major lenders had to be rescued by the
HFSF, which has been endowed with 50 billion euros out of the
country's EU/IMF bailout and has spent about 39 billion euros on
the task so far.
Eurobank had already secured a commitment by a group led by
Canada's Fairfax to anchor investors in the share sale
and take up 47 percent of the issue at 0.30 euros a share. The
group raised its bid to 0.31 euro on Monday.
The group further includes Capital Research and Management,
Wilbur Ross, Fidelity, Mackenzie and Brookfield. Fairfax and
Wilbur Ross have committed to hold on to the shares for at least
six months and participate in management.
"We are satisfied that Eurobank's offering attracted
substantial capital from quality investors, including long-only
funds and Sovereign Wealth Funds," HFSF Chairman Christos
"Management has made a great effort over many months in
sustaining strong investor interest in the transaction, as
evidenced by a very strong result".
With the full 2.86 billion euros from markets, the HFSF
bailout fund will not have to dip into its remaining 11 billion
euro capital buffer to support the lender. The fund waived its
rights to the share issue.
Barclays, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan acted as joint
coordinators for the deal.($1 = 0.7223 Euros)
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Harry