BUSINESS

Piraeus and Alpha promoting issues

Banks encouraged by international interest in plans to cover capital requirements; National set to follow By Yiannis Papadoyiannis

The Piraeus Group will likely launch its 500-million-euro bond issue on Monday, while bank officials who have been busy promoting the issue at events in London and New York are reporting major investor interest.

International fund administrators reportedly believe that Greece is already on a growth trajectory and are estimating that the next few years could constitute a period of dynamic expansion for the country’s economy. They expect the local credit sector to benefit considerably as a result given that in previous years it had suffered severe pressure.

It appears that foreign investors are not too worried about the risk of political complications or a failure in negotiations between Greece and its creditors, so Piraeus officials are certain the issue will be covered with great success.

They add that international investors are also showing strong interest in the lender’s planned share capital increase, to amount to 1.75 billion euros.

Alpha Bank officials have also been promoting its prospective share capital increase of 1.2 billion euros outside the country. The Alpha mission will spend a total of almost two weeks in cities in Europe, America and Asia, where meetings with institutional investors have been scheduled.

Armed with the bank’s strong fundamental figures – Alpha was found to have the smallest capital needs among the country’s systemic banks – its officials appear particularly optimistic about the project, with the share increase fully guaranteed by its underwriters.

As for National Bank, its administration is working hard to complete the plan for the coverage of its capital requirements. Various alternatives are under examination, such as the issue of bonds and the sale of subsidiaries, holdings and other assets, while the final structure of National’s plan will also depend on the deadline it is given to amass the necessary capital.

Along with the announcement of its 2013 financial results, scheduled for Thursday, March 20, the bank will also present preliminary details regarding its plans and priorities for covering its capital needs.

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