Bank price targets are increased

Deutsche Bank lifted its price target on several Greek banks yesterday ahead of second-quarter profit figures expected next week, helping send shares in the sector sharply higher on the Athens bourse. Deutsche Bank raised its price target on National Bank to 24.50 euros from 22 euros and set a new target price of 7 euros for Eurobank, up from 6 euros previously. It also increased its price target on Alpha Bank to 10.90 euros, from 9.50 euros, according to local press reports. On the earnings front, Alpha Bank will unveil its figures on Tuesday, followed by ATEbank the day after. National Bank is expected to report its earnings on Friday. Analysts believe second-quarter bank profits will improve from the first three months of the year on the back of better profit margins, cost containment and more favorable market conditions. Shares in Greek banks have gained 137 percent in the last six months, outperforming a 60 percent rise in the broader market.