ECONOMY

Eurobank: Greek lenders must stay in private hands

Greece?s banks should remain in private hands and not be nationalized, said Nikos Nanopoulos (photo), chief executive officer of Eurobank EFG, the country?s second-largest lender.

?It is necessary to maintain the private nature of the Greek banking system, not only to reduce the amount of public funds that have to be committed to Greek banks and to ease the burden on taxpayers, but also to ensure that critical and important decisions will be based on transparency and growth,? Nanopoulos said on Tuesday.

Bank recapitalization should be completed before seeking private capital, he said.

?Crucial decisions have to be taken as to the character of the Greek banking system and whether it will remain in the private sector or be dominated by state institutions with all the obvious and undesirable consequences,? he said.

Recapitalization will cover losses from the writing down of banks? government debt holdings and those that result from a review of loan portfolios by Blackrock Solutions, Nanopoulos said.

Greece?s collective response to its unprecedented crisis should be to focus on stabilizing and reorganizing the economy in cooperation with European partners, he said.

This can be achieved by ?improving the terms of the bailout? and by emphasizing initiatives that ?support growth, promote private investment and encourage healthy entrepreneurship,? Nanopoulos stated.

[Bloomberg]