ECONOMY

Alpha deems increase a success

Alpha Bank confirmed on Monday the successful completion of its share capital increase, while the governor of Greece’s central bank hailed the progress in the recapitalization process for the country’s three biggest banks seen paving the way to a Greek economic rebound.

Shareholder demand for the Alpha increase came to 165 percent of the required amount of 10 percent of the total increase. Therefore, for every new share acquired, private investors will get a buyback warrant for at least 7.31 shares that the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF) will acquire.

“We are particularly satisfied,” stated Alpha President Yannis Costopoulos, “as Alpha is the first bank to achieve the necessary private sector participation during the recapitalization of the Greek credit sector. It constitutes a vote of confidence regarding the prospects of the Greek banking system and the economy in general, creating the conditions required for the country’s return to global markets.

“What is remarkable about this successful effort is the fact that the increase has attracted strong interest from international investors who made new investments through our increase in this significant moment for the country,” said Alpha’s head.

In a meeting with President Karolos Papoulias on Monday, Bank of Greece Governor Giorgos Provopoulos said that much has been done recently as far as the economy is concerned: “Major progress has been recorded. One just needs to remember where we were 10 months ago. Of course the list of the things that still need to be done remains long.”

On the banking sector, Provopoulos said that Alpha, National and Piraeus will manage to complete their recapitalizations successfully with resources from foreign investors, adding that the process should end in the next few weeks. A very important chapter is about to close, he noted, so that banks will again be able to fulfill their role of funding the country’s economy.

Meanwhile the Competition Commission issued its approval on Monday for Piraeus’s absorption of Millennium Bank.