Greek Banks Need A Few Extra Billion

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It's been a while since we checked in on Greece. So how are things at the former political and economic dysfunction capital of Europe? A little bit good and a bunch of bad.

Greece's four big, systemic banks will need another €5.8 billion ($8.0 billion) to shore up their fragile balance sheets, the country's central bank said Thursday, in order to cope with a growing mountain of bad loans that have become another painful legacy of Greece's protracted debt crisis.

In a statement, the Bank of Greece said the four banks— National Bank of Greece SA, Piraeus Bank SA, Alpha Bank AE and Eurobank Ergasias SA—would need to present plans by mid-April detailing how they would raise that capital, such as by selling assets, going to the capital markets or appealing for further state aid.

Where is the bright side, you might ask? Well, option no. 2—going to the capital markets—appears to possible once again, at least for one of the banks.

Piraeus Bank, Greece’s largest lender, is set to became the first Greek bank to tap the capital markets since the euro zone crisis erupted five years ago.

Piraeus is planning to issue a senior bond after a European road show that is to begin next week “with a series of meetings with fixed-income investors in selected European cities,” the bank said in statement on Thursday. It did not specify the value of the debt issue, but media reports indicated it would be 500 million euros.

Greek Bank Set to Be First in 5 Years to Tap Capital Markets [DealBook]
Greek Banking System Needs Additional Capital [WSJ]

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