ECONOMY

Hellenic Postbank fails to produce financial report

The Athens stock market suspended the trading of the Hellenic Postbank (TT) blue chip after the state-owned lender announced on Thursday it would be unable to issue its financial report for 2011 before the deadline expires on Friday. This came one day after Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras called the lender ?non-viable? in Parliament, paving the way for its sale.

Athens Exchange stated on Thursday afternoon it has temporarily suspended trading of the TT stock ?because in a response to a relevant question by the Capital Market Commission it announced at 12.53 p.m. that the publication of its annual financial report for 2011 will not be done within the deadline provided.?

Earlier TT had issued a statement announcing that ?the publication of the Annual Economic Report of the Group for 2011 within the deadline is not possible due to exceptionally adverse conditions.?

The Finance Ministry had rejected a call by the TT management for another extension to the deadline, with Stournaras stating on Wednesday in Parliament that TT had secured four extensions, and a fifth one would not be possible. TT workers staged a 24-hour on Thursday in protest of the minister?s decision.

Before the TT stock got suspended from trading it had already suffered heavy losses amounting to just under 30 percent (29.71 percent).

Bourse observers suggested that the decline was due to TT shareholder worries for a split of the bank into a ?good? and a ?bad? side, in the same way it has been done with ATEbank, so that the healthy operations of the lender can be sold to a private banking group.

Decisions regarding TT concern no fewer than 70,000 shareholders, who hold more than 50 percent of the bank?s shares, while the state holds a 35 percent stake.