Gov’t wants an increased stake in banks

Gov’t wants an increased stake in banks

The two issues remaining regarding the new legislative framework for the recapitalization of banks are the stakes of the state in the lenders’ share capital and how great a say the state will have in corporate governance.

Sources say that the government is pressing for the holdings that the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF) has in banks to be transformed into 30 percent in common shares and 70 percent in convertible bonds (CoCos). This of course concerns the banks that will manage to attract enough private capital to retain their private character, otherwise they will be recapitalized only with state-owned common shares.

The original proposal was for the ratio to be 20 percent shares and 80 percent CoCos, but the government is concerned that this may not safeguard the state’s holdings in the banks’ share capital. Therefore, the government is asking its creditors for a 30 percent stake in shares.

Analysts note that all this should have been discussed and agreed a long time ago, adding that the government started dealing with the banks’ issue belatedly and without having formed any clear strategy.

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