articles | 16 November 2015

Alpha Bank aims to raise €1.55b

Greece’s Alpha Bank got shareholder approval recently for a plan to fill a capital hole identified in a European Central Bank health check in October 2015.

Alpha Bank, whose biggest shareholder is the country’s HFSF bank rescue fund with 66.2%, was found to need €263 million under the ECB stress test’s baseline scenario and €2.74 billion under more adverse assumptions.

“The bank is now aiming to raise €1.55 billion through the share offering,” Lazaros Papagaryfallou, a strategic planning executive, told shareholders. “It may need a small amount of state aid or possibly none at all.”

Alpha and Greece’s other three big banks – National , Piraeus and Eurobank – have started raising money to plug a €14.4 billion ($15.5 billion) capital hole, a sum 4.7 times their combined market value.

Alpha’s capital plan includes a one-for-50 reverse share split, an issue of new shares without pre-emptive rights for current shareholders and a possible issue of contingent convertible bonds (CoCos).

Alpha executives told shareholders the ECB had approved €180 million of so-called capital actions, which will help to reduce the bank’s capital gap by an equal amount.

The bank has also generated capital of €1.01 billion via an offer to bondholders to swap certain classes of debt for new shares. All this has cut the bank’s capital shortfall to €1.55 billion from €2.74 billion.

Earlier this week, Alpha announced it was seeking to raise €1.66 billion by selling new shares.

Alpha’s Board Chairman Vassilis Rapanos told the assembly the order book on the share offering was expected to close on Monday.

Source: InCyprus

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