ECONOMY

Banks in race to win private interest in recap process

In the context of the industry’s recapitalization, bank managers have entered a tough race to secure as much private interest as they can in the share capital increases.

Local lenders have until the end of April to obtain funds from the market so as to retain their administrative independence and for their shareholders to be able to pay back the state’s holdings within five years in order to regain full control of banks.

The announcement of the final terms for the sector’s recapitalization generated major disappointment in the industry, although bank officials have told Kathimerini that attracting private investors will be difficult but not impossible, provided that the specter of a eurozone exit is definitively banished.

Banks are eager to see disbursement of the next bailout tranche to Greece, but the life-or-death issue for the sector, which will determine whether private investors will participate or not, is the sustainability of the Greek public debt. If that is secured without inflicting fresh major losses on local banks, the latter will be able to attract old and new shareholders so as to obtain the capital required.