ATHENS, June 14 National Bank of Greece (NBG)
said on Friday it had raised enough money from private
investors in a share offering to ensure it avoids state control.
NBG is the second major Greek lender to successfully
recapitalise without falling under the full control of the
Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF), a vehicle to rescue
Greek banks under an EU/IMF bailout plan.
Detailing the results of its 2.2-for-1 rights issue that
ended on Thursday, NBG said it raised 10.8 percent of the funds
needed to plug a 9.65-billion-euro capital shortfall, with about
half, or 500 million euros, coming from foreign investors.
It said 120,000 domestic retail investors had subscribed for
one third of the 1.17 billion euro rights offering.
Greece's four biggest banks, including NBG, need 27.5
billion euros ($36.6 billion) to restore their solvency after
losses on sovereign debt writedowns and bad loans.
Under the recapitalisation plan that Athens agreed with its
international lenders, at least 10 percent of new equity issues
by its four big banks must be bought by the market for them to
remain in private hands.
Meeting the minimum threshold means NBG will not need to
resort to issuing costly contingent convertible bonds (CoCos).
The remaining funds to plug the capital shortfall will be
provided by the HFSF rescue fund in exchange for shares.
Last month, Alpha Bank raised 12 percent of its
capital requirement from the market, retaining management
Piraeus Bank, which is carrying out a rights issue,
is also expected to meet the threshold. Eurobank has
opted to be fully recapitalised by the HFSF.
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)