Eurobank approves rights issue for broader expansion abroad

Shareholders in EFG Eurobank, Greece’s third-largest lender, yesterday approved a 1.229-billion-euro rights issue, designed to finance a broad expansion drive abroad. «The -1.229 billion rights issue is dictated by the need for further strengthening the group’s strategy, which is steadily oriented toward the creation of a strong, international financial organization with an energetic, competitive and successful presence in the broad region extending from Central Europe to the Eastern Mediterranean,» said Nikolaos Nanopoulos, the company CEO. EFG will offer two new shares for every 15 old ones, at the price of -20 each, which is 25.3 percent lower than Wednesday’s closing price. Nanopoulos said Eurobank is in the process of exploring the possibilities in each country of the broader region of Eastern Europe. Management will determine the dates for the rights issue, seen as likely between now and September 14. The new shares will be floated within September and will carry a dividend for the current fiscal year. Nanopoulos said EFG has revised upward its net profit targets to -820 million for 2007 and -1,550 million in 2010.