End of period for the presence of the State in banks

Shortly before the full divestment of the 4 systemics is the (TSI) after the successful disposal of all the shares held by Piraeus Bank. This is how this round of recapitalizations for Greek banks and for the Greek economy is officially closed, which seems to stand despite the new challenges moves at a growth rate of four times the eurozone average. The TCS has fully invested by Eurobank, Piraeus Bank, Alpha Bank while maintaining a rate of about 18% in the National Bank and a rate of 70% in Attica Bank. In particular, as noted after the completion of the divestment of the TIF by Piraeus Bank by the government’s financial staff, the TIF, the Bank of Greece and the economic analysts, this is a vote of confidence by the international investment community, not only for the Greek banking system but also for the Greek economy. As the Minister of National Economy and Finance, Kostis Hatzidakis pointed out, on the occasion of the complete success of the disposal of 27% of Piraeus Bank’s shares to foreign and Greek investors, our banking system is changing today. “From the time of the crisis and the recapitalizations, at the time when high-quality investors have shown their interest in all systemic Greek banks, said the minister, pointing out that the investment interest expressed was 8 times greater than the offer. It also stood on the fact that the share allocation price was set at levels higher than the price of the closure of the Stock Exchange last Friday, before the start of the procedure. “A fact that is extremely rare worldwide, as in such cases the prices are almost always shaped with a discount for buyers, the minister said. To add: “The latest developments reward the strategy of the EFSI administration that prepared and organised the process effectively. They underline the correctness of the government’s choices, not only for the way and time the State’s divestment went ahead, but also more generally for the banking system itself. And they are ultimately a very serious national success.” The successful cycle of the divestments of the HFSF by systemic banks started with Eurobank and followed by Alpha Bank, National Bank and Piraeus Bank. According to data presented by Minister of National Economy and Finance Kostis Hatzidakis in the Parliament (February 2024), the State has not only accounting but also, above all, more general benefit from the divestment. According to these data, to save the four systemic banks, the Greek State – through the EFSF – has paid a total of EUR 30.9 billion while the benefit it had is: 28.2 billion from the bond haircut (PSI programme) held by the 4 systemic banks. 3.8 billion euros from the acquisition of convertible bonds (CoCos). 2.8 billion of the investments made to date (March 2024) without the programme being completed. The general total is EUR 34.8 billion, i.e. the benefit of the State in relation to the 30.9 billion it gave to the recapitalisation is EUR 3.9 billion, without counting the dividends 2013-2023, amounting to EUR 5.5 billion paid by the Bank of Greece to the State, mainly due to the provision of exceptional liquidity aid to the banking system through ELA. By saving systemic banks, of course, the deposits of Greek citizens, which were about ten times the cost of the recapitalisation, were also rescued and businesses and households were protected from the collapse. Mr. Hatzidakis, speaking in Parliament on 19 February, stressed that the results of the divestment in Eurobank, Alpha and National Bank prove the correctness of the government’s choices. National Bank: the most successful disposal of shares through Public Offer in recent years, at European level In the case of the National Bank, according to the elements of the HFSF, the divestment of 22% of the HFSF by the National Bank is recorded as the most successful disposal of shares through Public Offer in recent years, at European level. The electronic tender book was fully covered for the first time, just 20 minutes after its opening on 13 November 2023 giving the tone of investor demand and appetite to be placed in the EIB. The final overcovering, over 8 times midpoints for the international and Greek books, confirmed the strong intention of the investment audience to put in its portfolio the shares of the National. The international book was covered 9.5 times, attracting top institutional investors, to their majority from the US (35%) and the United Kingdom (47%), with a total of over 30 trillion euros under management. The quality of international investors is excellent as the majority are long-term investors (64%) and institutional investment funds (27%). The strong Greek interest in placing in the National Bank led to a modification of the disposal rates and finally on the Greek market 20% of the total shares for sale, instead of 15% originally designed. At a total price of 1,067 billion euros and a final price per share of 5.30 euros, the divestment of the HFSF by the National Bank is the largest privatisation transaction in recent years in Greece through secondary equity placement, as the total coverage moved to significantly higher levels. Alpha Bank: It became 100% private again and even with the entry of a strategic first-line investor Historical station in the long run of Alpha Bank, the CEO of the bank, Vassilis Psaltis, described the entry of a strategic first-line investor – UniCredit. The French company’s entry into Alpha Bank resulted in the bank becoming 100% private again. The HFSF accepted in mid-November UniCredit’s binding bid to acquire the entire Fund’s participation, amounting to 8,9781%, in Alpha Bank. The first – with the participation of a new investor – complete privatisation in the domestic banking sector, as part of the divestment of the HFSF, and Alpha Bank becomes the only Greek bank with the participation of a strategic partner in its share capital. The acquisition by UniCredit, the share held by the HFSF in Alpha Bank, was one of three pillars of strategic cooperation announced by the heads of the two groups. The other two were the merger of their subsidiaries in Romania, through which the 3rd largest bank on the Romanian market and commercial cooperation through a consortium for the disposal of portfolio management and life insurance products will be created. Eurobank was the first systemic bank from which it invested the EFSF Eurobank was the first systemic bank from which the EFSF invested in the first 10 days of October 2023 upon the completion of the 1.4% of the share capital repurchase process by the bank itself. In his statements, Eurobank CEO Fokion Karavia had pointed out that Eurobank was the first systemic bank to return entirely to the private sector. With this development, as Mr Karavias pointed out, they closed two cycles concerning Greece and the bank. It had to be over a decade, when the fiscal crisis developed into a financial crisis and led to the first recapitalisation of banks, so that one of the four systemic banks would zero public participation in its share capital. This is a strong signal in every direction – towards our partners, towards markets and the international investment community – F. Karavias pointed out in his statements. It also stated that this development opened the cycle of the exemption of Greek banks from the heavy legacy of the crisis. What the divestment of Piraeus Bank signifies The success of the disposal of the share rate of the HFSF (27%) can now be recorded as a benchmark for both Greek and European data, according to sources close to the HFSF. The total amount collected in the international and Greek books totaled EUR 10.7 billion, even at the maximum amount of EUR 4. According to the same sources, the Greek economy does not just demonstrate the dynamics it develops, with most indicators of the most positive of the respective European countries, but also its return in an extremely sound way to the focus of international investment interest since it has to present the most successful disposal of shares through Public Offer (TIF in Piraeus) at a pan-European level. At the same time the largest historical privatisation through secondary placement with the price level reaching 1.35 billion euros is recorded. The divestment of the TIF from its participation in Piraeus is the only one at European level from respective locations that managed to attract a premium against other counterpart Europeans all allocated with a discount. For example, it is stated that the de-investment by Piraeus Bank is a third European privatisation over EUR 1 billion carried out through a Public Offer since 2017 and the first largest in Greece. The first largest privatisation involved the disposal of shares by the Irish government which sold a 29% stake in AIB for 3.4 billion euros with a 43% discount on the disposal price, while until recently the second largest European privatisation was the disposal of the 22% stake held by the HFSF to the National Bank for around 1.1 billion euros achieved by minimising the disposal price rebate, at 2.57%. After 10 years of continuous efforts, according to the same sources, the banking system with the decisive contribution of the HFSF returns absolutely dynamically to the position it deserves claiming its further development. The positive effects on all aspects of the country’s economy are evident as its proven investmentability creates significant new opportunities for growth. Source: RES – ICM