HFSF confident banks will cover their needs this fall

ECB says stress test results will be announced in October By Evgenia Tzortzi

The results of the stress tests that Greece’s four systemic banks will undergo along with 124 other European lenders will be announced in the second half of October, the European Central Bank announced on Thursday, but even if the tests do show any additional requirements for the local banks they will be covered by international investors, according to the heads of the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF).

The ECB published the details of the process that will be the main test for banks before they come under the supervision of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) in November, and National, Alpha, Piraeus and Eurobank will be informed of the results just before the markets are notified. The tests’ findings will constitute a basis in the drafting of business plans for the coverage of any capital requirements, which the lenders will need to submit within November.

In an interview with Bloomberg, HFSF Chairman Christos Sclavounis pointed to the fact that major fund managers placed 8.3 billion euros in Greece’s systemic banks during the first half of the year, so “one would expect that they will supply the funds” that the system will be found to require according to the tests.

The chief executive officer of the HFSF, Anastasia Sakellariou, added that “the fact that private investors took part in the share capital increases should not be underestimated. These are investors with a successful investment history and their participation constitutes a strong vote of confidence.”

Therefore the HFSF may be able to return the 11.5 billion euros that has remained unused from the original 50 billion set aside for the recapitalization of the local bank system. “Our strategic aim is for Greek lenders to have open access to the markets, so as to cover their needs in capital and liquidity, and I believe this target has been met,” stated Sclavounis.