ECONOMY

Eurobank share capital increase starts

Eurobank announced on Thursday the start of the process for its share capital increase, to amount to some 2 billion euros, with the aim of having it completed by the end of January.

The precise amount of the increase will depend on the bank’s capital requirements as determined by the Bank of Greece based on the stress test that BlackRock is conducting. Eurobank sources stress that the aim is for the increase to be fully covered by the private sector.

The bank’s statement says that the proposed increase will take place through the issue of new shares while the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF), which controls 95.2 percent of Eurobank, “may assess the option of acquiring a considerable amount of Eurobank shares from one or a group of institutional investors.” Sources explain that the HFSF will participate in the increase only in the event that private investors do not cover the whole of it.

Eurobank officials told Kathimerini that the start of the process is necessary for contacts made with foreign investors to take on a formal character. In recent weeks the bank’s management has had a series of contacts with investors in Europe and America, identifying a strong investment interest. Barclays, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan Securities are operating as the international coordinators of the transaction.

If the share capital increase is fully covered by private investors, the HFSF stake will drop to 50 percent. Fund officials underlined recently that the increase will take place according to market terms while safeguarding the interests of taxpayers.