Shift in lenders’ targets

The global crisis is prompting competition in Greece’s banking sector to focus on capital adequacy and sufficient liquidity rather than increasing market share in the retail segment, National Bank CEO Takis Arapoglou said yesterday. Speaking in New York, Arapoglou said that banks will now be focusing strategies on the quality of loan portfolios, strong capital ratios and adequate liquidity. «On a global level, reducing operating costs will be one more issue in the financial services sector in order to achieve profit targets,» said Arapoglou, according to the Athens News Agency. Synergies from takeover and merger activity in the sector may bring on the targeted results on these issues, the CEO added. Speculation of merger activity taking place in Greece’s banking sector has increased recently after steep drops on the Athens bourse have made stock valuations cheaper and more attractive to potential buyers.