MIG’s capital increase on course

Buyout firm Marfin Investment Group (MIG) said yesterday its 5-billion-euro share capital increase is going ahead as planned despite the financial crisis that has rocked global markets. «This increase in share capital is not to raise bailout money. It is aimed at taking advantage of certain opportunities,» MIG vice president Andreas Vgenopoulos said. MIG, which owns Marfin Popular Bank, Marfin Egnatia Bank and Investment Bank of Greece, plans to use the funds to take advantage of opportunities in Greece and Southeast Europe mainly in the banking sector. Bank shares have tumbled 42 percent in the last month on the Athens bourse, despite moving higher in the last few sessions, making valuations more attractive to potential buyers. MIG, whose major shareholder is Dubai Financial Group, has hired Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley as joint bookrunners for the capital increase. Commenting on the government’s 28-billion-euro bank bailout plan, Vgenopoulos accused the state of poorly preparing the package that does not guarantee the money will «fund productive areas of the economy.» None of MIG’s banks will take part in the plan.

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