January 8, 2013 / 10:01 AM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-No sign Greek banks need more recap funds-source

(Recasts with comment by bank support fund official, background)

ATHENS, Jan 8 (Reuters) - There is no sign at the moment that Greece’s four largest lenders will need more recapitalisation funds, a senior official at the country’s bank support fund said on Tuesday, dismissing a report in a local newspaper.

The Kathimerini newspaper said earlier the banks may need more money than the sum earmarked by the central bank due to rising loan impairments.

“There is no specific development that points to such an outcome,” the official at the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund told Reuters, declining to be named.

The Bank of Greece declined to comment on the report.

In late December, the central bank said the four systemically important banks - National, Eurobank , Alpha and Piraeus - needed 27.5 billion euros ($36 billion) in fresh capital to bolster weak solvency ratios.

Already battered by the country’s debt crisis and a protracted recession that sent bad loans soaring, banks suffered further losses from a sovereign debt swap in March last year.

Citing unnamed bankers, Kathimerini said banks might ask for the recapitalisation funds to be topped up to 30 billion euros to deal with the rise in non-performing loans and foregone interest income after taking part in a sovereign debt buyback.

Greece and its international lenders have earmarked 50 billion euros from the country’s 130-billion-euro bailout to recapitalise the four systemically important banks and wind down others deemed not viable.

In its report in December, the central bank said the 50 billion euros earmarked to recapitalise and resolve non-viable banks over the 2012-14 period was adequate.

The report said the estimate took into account potential future developments such as a further economic decline that could increase non-performing loans and higher restructuring needs for non-core banks and included a 5-billion-euro buffer.

Greek bank shares were down 0.5 percent on Tuesday, roughly in line with the broader market index which shed 0.27 percent.

$1 = 0.7634 euros Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Catherine Evans and Mark Potter

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