National Bank of Greece will be the strongest lender in the country after the completion of the sale of Turkish subsidiary Finansbank, the group’s chairwoman, Louka Katseli, estimated on Monday while addressing an extraordinary general meeting for the approval of the sale.
The NBG shareholders gave the nod for the concession of Finansbank to Qatar National Bank for the agreed price of 2.75 billion euros. When the repayment of the debts Finansbank had in NBG from loans are included, then the total amount exceeds 3.5 billion euros.
Katseli stated that “the strategic decision for the sale of our most important subsidiary bank was imposed in the context of the bank’s restructuring program, and was the right decision. While this agreement terminates a successful, almost 10-year-long presence of our lender in Turkey, it opens a new chapter for our activities in Greece, as both the capital strengthening and the liquidity to derive from the transaction will have a vital contribution to bolstering National Bank further.”
The NBG head explained that the bank will now be able to pay back to the state the 2 billion euros of support it has received and further diminish the lender’s exposure to the emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) mechanism.
“We are convinced that with the completion of this transaction National will become the strongest bank in the Greek credit market in terms of capital and cash flow. According to the estimated impact of Finansbank’s sale, the capital adequacy ratio will grow by 8 percentage points and come to 24.6 percent,” said Katseli.
The group’s chief executive officer Leonidas Frangiadakis said that National’s capital adequacy ratio will have an unprecedented level in the Greek market, “so that it can take a lead in supporting the domestic economy, which at this stage is the country’s main objective.” He also said that National is the bank with the smallest dependence on the Eurosystem and its full disengagement will be completed in a faster and easier fashion.