ECONOMY

Alpha Bank prices share issue at 0.04 euros a share

alpha-bank-prices-share-issue-at-0-04-euros-a-share

Greece's Alpha Bank on Thursday priced its share offering to fill a capital shortfall revealed in a European Central Bank health check, becoming the second Greek lender to raise funds from private investors without resorting to state aid.

Alpha priced the new shares at 0.04 euros each or 2.0 euros after a one-for-50 reverse share split, translating to a 35 percent discount to Wednesday's closing price.

Greece's fourth-largest lender sought to raise 1.55 billion euros ($1.65 bln) from investors to fill a 2.74 billion euro capital gap under the ECB stress test's adverse scenario.

Alpha and peer Eurobank both plugged their capital gaps without tapping aid from the country's bank rescue fund HFSF, which will see its stakes in both banks significantly diluted as a result.

Their offerings of new common shares were without pre-emptive rights to shareholders, including the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund which owned 66.2 percent of Alpha and 35.4 percent of Eurobank.

Eurobank priced its share offering at 0.01 euro per share on Wednesday.

Alpha executives told Reuters on Wednesday the bookbuilding fetched orders of about 2.5 billion euros for the new shares.

Alpha generated equity capital of 1.01 billion euros from a debt exchange offer to bondholders to swap junior and senior debt for new shares which. This along with 83 million euros of other capital actions approved by the ECB cut its 2.74 billion euro shortfall to 1.55 billion euros.

Citigroup Global Markets and JP Morgan are the global coordinators for the share offering and joint bookrunners with Barclays Bank.

[Reuters]