ECONOMY

NBG chief eyes liquidity, return to markets

Apostolos Tamvakakis, National Bank of Greece’s chief executive officer, suggested yesterday that the country’s biggest lender will try to enhance its liquidity next year, while adding that Greece must focus on returning to the markets for financing at the earliest possible date. ‘Ensuring high liquidity, expanding our funding sources and further reducing costs are among the key challenges for 2011,’ Tamvakakis stated. He went on to predict that ‘the worst on provisions is set to come next year. I expect provisions throughout the market to exceed 12 percent, from 10 percent this year. I expect NBG provisions to close at 9 percent this year.’ Tamvakakis further noted that ‘we have available collateral of 9 billion euros to use to access European Central Bank funding’ and argued that there will be no restructuring or haircut of the Greek public debt. He also dismissed talk of a return to drachma as ‘nonsense.’