Hellenic confirms EBRD takes 5% stake
Hellenic Bank, the recently capitalised Cyprus bank that includes New York fund Third Point and online gamer Wargaming.Net as its main shareholders, has confirmed that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has agreed to acquire a 5.4% stake.
Hellenic Bank’s board announced it has decided to proceed in favour of EBRD’s participation, providing the goahead to sign an agreement with the EU’s development bank for the acquisition of 10.7 mln new ordinary shares for a total amount of EUR 20 mln.
Back in February, the board had approved increasing the share capital by EUR 35 mln in order to attract new shareholders.
This signifies “solidity and casting a vote of confidence not only to Hellenic Bank, but towards the entire banking system and economy of the country,” the Nicosia-based bank’s board said in a statement.
The additional capital raised will strengthen the bank’s Common Equity Tier 1 Ratio (CET1) by 50 basis points, taking it to 14%.
The bank’s board said it “looks forward to expanding the cooperation with EBRD in other areas of mutual interest, as they operate in Cyprus and intend to invest significant capital across various sectors of the economy.”
The signing of the agreement is expected to take place on Wednesday, September 30.
EBRD opened an office in Cyprus last year and announced plans to pump up to EUR 100 mln a year over a 7-year development, mainly in the financial, services and energy sectors.
It already invested some EUR 120 mln in Bank of Cyprus for a 5% stake when the island’s main lender was twice recapitalised and now includes shareholders controlled by funds managed by investor billionaire Wilbur R Ross Jr.