ECONOMY

Attica Bank says optimistic about plan to raise cash

Greek lender Attica Bank on Tuesday dismissed speculation that its plans to raise cash and plug a capital shortfall could flounder, saying it was confident of success.

Unlike its larger peers, Attica, which has a market value of 81 million euros, did not turn to the country’s bank bailout fund – the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund – during the debt crisis.

The lender, 51 percent-owned by the engineers’ pension fund TSMEDE, is instead seeking to issue new shares to raise up to 434 million euros ($546 million) and plug the capital shortfall revealed by a central bank stress test in March.

TSMEDE has told management that it intends to take part in the cash call and exercise its rights. But Attica shares slumped 10.7 percent on Monday, with analysts citing speculation that the bank was at odds with potential long-terms investors over management, price and other issues.

A shareholder meeting scheduled for Tuesday to approve the cash call was postponed to Oct. 13 as there were not enough investors present to make a decision.

But the bank’s Chairman Ioannis Gamvrilis said it would pull of the plans.

“We will succeed in this battle,» Gamvrilis told shareholders assembled before the meeting was postponed. «I’m optimistic that we will make it. We will do our best.”

Attica Bank shares were up 13 percent at 0.085 euros at 1330 GMT on Tuesday, outperforming the broader Athens stock exchange index which was up 1.5 percent.

[Reuters]