Banks given extension for cash plan

The Bank of Greece, the country’s central bank, is seen here in a file photo. The Greek government said yesterday it will give banks another six months to claim untapped assistance of up to 1.2 billion euros from a total 5 billion for capital injections. ‘The government will extend for six months a deadline for banks to absorb the remaining 1.2 billion euros,’ said an Economy and Finance Ministry official, Reuters reported. The initial deadline to use the funds, from the sale of preferred shares to the state, had expired on May 19. Greek lenders pay a 10 percent dividend to the state on the preferred shares. The government is represented on bank boards and has veto powers on dividend and pay policy. Meanwhile, National Bank is scheduled to hold its annual general meeting today.