Gov’t mulls capital raise for Emporiki

The government is considering a share capital increase for Emporiki Bank to tackle its future unfunded pension liabilities, a government official said yesterday. «We are looking at the possibility of a capital boost for Emporiki through a share capital increase within the framework of a definite solution to the bank’s pension fund,» the official told reporters. The state directly and indirectly controls an interest of about 25 percent in Emporiki Bank, making it the biggest single shareholder. Greek banks are scrambling to resolve unfunded pension liabilities before the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards next year, which require companies to record the value of pension funds on balance sheets. Analysts said Emporiki’s pension liabilities are estimated at 1 billion euros, broadly equal to its net asset value. The official said he did not know if there had been any government contact with France’s Credit Agricole which holds a 11 percent stake. (Reuters)