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article imageGreece's Eurobank to seek 2.86-bn euro capital hike

By AFP     Apr 12, 2014 in Business

Greece's Eurobank on Saturday said its board had approved a 2.86-billion-euro ($4-billion) capital increase, in the latest move by one of the country's biggest lenders to bolster its reserves.

"The general meeting approved...the increase of the share capital of the bank by up to 2.864 billion euros," the bank said in a statement.

Up to 9.54 billion in new shares will be issued and according to reports, the capital hike is expected to be completed by May.

The offer price per share cannot be lower than 0.30 euros, the bank said. Shares in the bank closed down 4.2 percent on Friday at 0.43 euros.

Greek lenders are in the process of shoring up their balance sheets following a recent recommendation by the central bank.

Two other top banks -- Piraeus and Alpha -- have respectively raised 1.75 billion and 1.2 billion euros.

The Bank of Greece last month said the four main Greek lenders -- National Bank, Piraeus, Alpha and Eurobank -- needed nearly 6.4 billion euros in additional capital.

The board of National Bank is expected to convene next week to discuss a two-billion-euro capital increase in May, reports said.

The banks had been recapitalised last year as part of the Greek EU-IMF bailout.

A sum of 50 billion euros from Greece's EU-IMF rescue loans was earmarked for their recapitalisation after heavy losses suffered by Greek banks which wrote down privately-held Greek government bonds in 2012.

Eurobank was unable to attract enough private funds and was recapitalised by the state.

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