ECONOMY

Shareholders of Greece’s Alpha Bank give go-ahead to recap plan

Shareholders of Greece’s third-largest lender Alpha Bank approved on Tuesday a 4.57 billion euro ($6 billion)recapitalization plan, allowing it to go ahead.

Alpha was seeking shareholder approval for a 457.1 million euro ($598.1 million) rights issue of new stock, and a further 92.9 million euros issue on which existing shareholders will waive their rights.

The meeting was attended by shareholders representing about 29 percent of the company’s shares, exceeding a required quorum of 20 percent.

Greece’s four major banks, including Alpha, need 27.5 billion euros in fresh funds to restore their solvency ratios to levels required by the country’s central bank after incurring losses from a sovereign debt write-down and impaired loans.

Under the terms of the recapitalization scheme, at least 10 percent of banks’ new common equity must be raised from the market for them to stay privately run. Alpha has said it plans to raise 12 percent of the 4.57 billion euros it needs from private investors to avoid nationalization. [Reuters]