ECONOMY

Provopoulos: Report finds Greek banks well capitalized

Greek banks have enough bailout funds on hand to cope with any additional capital needs from bad loans, the country’s central banker Giorgos Provopoulos told a news website on Monday.

The European Union and the International Monetary Fund have so far spent about 40 billion euros to bail out the country’s banks as part of its 240-billion-euro international rescue.

Money manager BlackRock Inc is expected to soon publish a report which will reveal if Greek lenders need additional capital to plug holes, mainly from bad loans.

Speaking in an interview with financial website bankingnews.gr, Provopoulos said there is enough money to cover any additional shortfall the BlackRock report might reveal.

“I cannot run ahead of the results of BlackRock’s report. But I can safely say that there is enough leeway to cope with any capital need,” he said.

Provopoulos said in October that there were another 8 to 9 billion euros of bailout funds available to the country’s lenders.

Provopoulos reiterated in the interview that he expected the country’s economy to return to growth in 2014 after six years of austerity-fueled recession.

[Reuters]