On Mar 10 one of Greece’s “Big Four,” the Athens-based National Bank of Greece (NBG) notched a sizable gain, correcting a portion of the losses the bank had incurred since first announcing plans to spin off toxic assets into a separate institution. The stock rise appears to be in response to the insistence the bank will not need to sell equity to cover debts.
While they have not explained exactly how they plan to do so, the Bank of Greece insisted on Mar 10 they will cover a 2.2 billion euro debt they have incurred without “raising new equity capital.” The bank claims more details will be released in April while the details of the plan are finalized.
Of all the countries affected by the global financial meltdown of 2008, perhaps none in the European Union felt the effects as deeply as Greece. As the rest of the developed world has enjoyed an economic renaissance Greece is still very much in the throes of a recession bordering on depression, with the country’s GDP contracting a full 6 percent in the fourth quarter.
In October of 2013 the Bank of Greece announced they would create a “bad bank” to house the mountains of bad loans accumulated during the crisis. The plan energized investors, who believed the good bank/bad bank scheme could work as effectively in Greece as it had in the similarly troubled Cyprus.
As a whole, the Grecian economy made major strides in the fall of 2013, dealing effectively with the ongoing debt crisis while attracting increased international investment. However, a full-on recovery is still a long way off, as evidenced by the country’s stagnating financial sector.
With Greece’s late-2013 troubles, the Bank of Greece suffered as well, losing all the gains made during the fall. However, things once again appear to be turning around for them. The 172-year-old financial institution rose 9.75 percent by midday trading to hit $5.29 a share.
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