ECONOMY

Greek banks can’t pull capital out of FYROM

Greek bank owners with assets in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia can’t pull out their capital unless they offer their holdings for sale, FYROM’s central bank head said.

“Greek banks have no legal possibility to withdraw their founding capital, according banking legislation,” the central bank governor, Dimitar Bogov, said in an interview in Becici, Montenegro.

“They can only sell their stake to another investor.”

Greek banks, which are under pressure in their own country as the risk of the country’s default and exit from the euro area grows, will have to weather a shaky political situation in neighboring FYROM, which has called early elections in the worst political crisis in more than a decade.

Greek bank holdings account for about 6 billion euros, or 22 percent of FYROM’s banking assets, according to the central bank.

The country’s central bank has prepared “contingency measures” if Greece drops the euro, Bogov said, declining to elaborate.

“I don’t expect a run on banks if a Grexit happens,” Bogov said, referring to Greece’s possible exit from eurozone.

“We had a similar situation in 2012 when that possibility was first mentioned, but then we explained to depositors that their money is safe. Perhaps this time there could be panic initially, but it will calm down.”

[Bloomberg]