ECONOMY

Piraeus confident it will make stress tests

Piraeus Bank expects to pass stress tests due by the end of the year to satisfy the country’s international lenders of the adequacy of capital buffers.

After plugging a 7.3-billion-euro capital hole last month, Piraeus has a core Tier 1 capital adequacy ratio of 14.5 percent, the highest among the country’s four top banks, Chief Executive Officer Stavros Lekkakos said on Monday.

“I’m certain the stress test will show Piraeus will not need fresh capital,” Chairman Michalis Sallas told reporters after the bank’s annual shareholder meeting.

He also took part in Monday’s meeting of the country’s leading bank chiefs with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras to discuss ways to pump funds into the economy to support recovery.

“Liquidity is needed,” Sallas said, adding that the bank would focus on lending to sectors involved in primary production and import replacement rather than consumer credit, where demand is down sharply because of the recession.

Sallas also told shareholders that the bank may turn its Geniki unit, which was purchased from Societe Generale last year, into a bank specializing in asset management, loan restructuring and advisory banking. [Reuters]