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Greek Banks: Stress Tests and Mergers Rumors -upd

While European Regulators sit curled over the papers of  8 Greek banks to undergo a stress test on kidneys and heart,  false  “hairdressers” and  prophets speculate on  possible “haircuts” on government bonds.  Scepticism on bank’s exposures  to Greek Bonds goes around together with rumors about due mergers and stakes’ sales.

REUTERS reported Tuesday that EU regulators will aplly  a 23% haircut  on Greek sovereign bonds.  The news agency quotes an anonymous banking source. 

According to economics site,  Greek banks have Greek government bonds worth over € 45 billion.  Out of these  39.4 billion euros  are being hold by the four major banks (National Bank, Alpha Bank, EFG Eurobank, Piraeus Bank). Data: March 31, 2010

National Bank of Greece denies mergers & stakes sales

The National Bank Of Greece denied early Monday afternoon press reports that it is exploring the possibility of mergers, it will sale stakes of  subsidiaries or that it is planning a share capital increase.
But Credit Suisse sees in its latest report a capital  increase ” for National Bank of Greece,  Piraeus Bank, Agricultural Bank of Greece and TT Hellenic Postbank that would together need a total of 2.61 billion euros”, after the release of  the stress tests result on July 23.
Eurobank talks with HSBC in Polnish
 According to, an economic online newspaper, the Eurobank is in talks with HSBC concerning cooperation on the presence of the Greek group in Poland.
Eurobank is mulling an expansion of its activities in the country by adding 150 branches to its network, sources told They  noted thought that the talks do not include the scenarios of mergers or acquisitions.
Eurobank’s presence in Poland through Pollbank is especially productive, since in Q1 2010 it registered an expansion of credit by 26% at 4.9 bil. euro, Capital online writes.
Greek Finance Minister calls for Bank mergers

Last week, Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou urged banks to think of  “the next day”, implying they should start considering strategic cooperations and consolidations.   

“The problems of the banks is a problem of the Greek state” Papaconstantinou said  at d dinner of Greek-American Chamber of Commerce.
“As long as the Greek state has not convinced the markets that it will make it, the banks will not be able to resume their ability to get liquidity from the interbanking market and to pass it it the economy,” he said at an event.
“It’s time the banks make moves to prepare for the next day. The landscape has changed. For as long as they wait, they will have to adapt, instead of leading,” he stressed.

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