ECONOMY

Local lenders draw 5 bln for loans to SMEs

Greek banks drew liquidity of some 5 billion euros from the European Central Bank’s TLTRO program aimed at channeling funding to small and medium-sized enterprises in the first auction completed on Thursday.

In total, European lenders requested 82.6 billion euros (against an expected 150 billion), putting the participation of Greek banks at about 6.2 percent. The participation of Greece’s four systemic banks in Thursday’s auction is seen as satisfactory given that this was the first in a series of eight to be completed in the first half of 2015.

While Greek banks did not announce the precise amounts drawn, sources say that Piraeus requested 2.7 billion euros, Eurobank asked for 1 billion and National and Alpha signed up for a total of 1.3 billion.

This means they have already covered half of the maximum of 10 billion euros they can borrow from the ECB under the program.