Greece’s NBG looks at ways to boost capital, no decision on Finansbank, source says

Greece’s biggest lender National Bank is considering ways to meet any potential capital shortfall after a stress test this year but has not finalised plans, which include options for majority-owned Finansbank in Turkey, a source at the bank told Reuters on Monday.

Greek press reported on Monday that NBG was considering shedding all of its 99 percent-owned Turkish subsidiary Finansbank as part of a business plan it aims to submit to the European Union’s competition authority.

“We are looking into alternative proposals, as any bank should do, to promptly cover possible capital needs,” the source said.

“In this phase and until the stress test is completed, any projection on what specific strategy the bank will choose is premature,” the source added.

NBG and the country’s three other big lenders will undergo stress tests by the European Central Bank to determine their capital shortfalls, the results of which are expected by the end of October.

Under a restructuring plan approved by European regulators, NBG had committed to selling 40 percent of its stake in Finansbank, but postponed plans earlier this year on valuation concerns.

The group has not abandoned its plan to eventually hold a public offering and reduce its Finansbank stake, continuing to work towards a share sale.

NBG shrank its loss to 159 million euros ($177.60 million) in the first quarter from 1.1 billion in the last quarter of 2014, as bad debt provisions offset profit at its Turkish unit which contributed 114 million euros to group earnings.

Reuters

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