ECONOMY

After Piraeus, other Greek lenders to open bid books

after-piraeus-other-greek-lenders-to-open-bid-books

Greek bankers are sanguine that their capital-raising spree to fill holes revealed in a European Central Bank health check will bear fruit, even if a snag with lenders over home foreclosure reforms threatens to dent the funding effort.

Third-largest lender Eurobank is set to begin its book building later this week, “likely on Wednesday,” a source at the bank said.

Eurobank, 35.4 percent-owned by the country’s bank rescue fund, had the smallest shortfall – 2.12 billion euros – among the four lenders under the ECB stress test’s “adverse” scenario.

Fourth in size Alpha Bank, 66 percent-owned by the HFSF rescue fund, is set to open its book on a planned share offering later this week, a senior executive at the bank told Reuters.

“Overall, indications of interest are encouraging,” the executive said, declining to be named.

Another banker at National said the bank would soon follow.

The group plans to sell its Turkish unit Finansbank to generate capital to fill a 4.6-billion-euro capital gap.

“Contacts with investors are going well, management has made stops abroad, in London, New York and other financial centers where there is potential interest,” the banker said.

“We will not go for a hard underwriting in our offering.”

[Reuters]