April 12, 2013 / 9:26 AM / in 5 years

Vote on Piraeus Bank share sale postponed to next week

ATHENS, April 12 (Reuters) - Greece’s Piraeus Bank postponed a shareholder vote on its 7.3 billion-euro ($9.58 billion) recapitalisation plan to next week because not enough shareholders turned up to a meeting on Friday.

Piraeus is seeking their approval to raise up to 400 million euros through a private share placement and up to 6.94 billion euros from a rights issue to boost its capital base.

Greece’s second-largest lender posted a loss in 2012, hurt by provisions for bad debt and higher funding costs due to the country’s deep recession.

Friday’s meeting was attended by shareholders representing just 10.4 percent of the bank’s shares, far fewer than the 66.6 percent required to approve the plan. Its board did not set a day for next week’s repeat assembly, which will require a smaller quorum of 50 percent.

The absence of most shareholders on Friday does not necessarily signify a lack of support for the plans. It is common in Greece for such shareholder votes to be delayed and for proposals to be approved only after two or three meetings.

Greece’s four major banks need 27.5 billion euros in fresh funds to restore their solvency ratios to levels required by the country’s central bank after incurring losses from a sovereign debt writedown and impaired loans.

Under the terms of the recapitalisation, a minimum amount of new equity must be raised from the market for the banks to remain privately run. ($1 = 0.7618 euros) (Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas and George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

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