One of the hottest mid-cap financial stocks on the market this month has been National Bank of Greece (NBG) , the oldest member of Greece’s Big Four banks. This 172-year-old institution capped off a stellar week on Oct 18 with another 6 percent pop, bringing the bank’s gains to nearly 30 percent in October alone.
Investors have been lured back to National Bank for reasons macro and micro. On the small scale, National Bank of Greece has been moving ahead with plans to create a “bad bank” to quarantine the toxic loans on their books to shore up investor confidence in the “good bank.” On a larger scale, NBG is benefiting from the fact Greece’s economy is possibly onthe cusp of a major turnaround, as a $324 billion bailout has stabilized the maritime nation’s economy.
According to Thomas Reuters, foreign investments in the Athens Stock Exchange have increased to 50 percent of turnover, up from 20 percent at the height of the Grecian fiscal crisis in 2012. The National Bank of Greece has proven to be an especially attractive and affordable option, as the company’s shares are worth a fifth of what they were one year ago.
National Bank of Greece is the largest of Greece’s Big Four banks, which also includes Piraeus, Alpha Bank, and Eurobank. All four have risen considerably on Greece’s energized economy, which stands a chance this quarter of finally reversing six consecutive years of contraction.
National Bank of Greece was up 6.19 percent in midday trading on Oct 18, hitting $5.83 a share.
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