Investors exercise only a fraction of NBG warrants
Investors exercised only a fraction of National Bank’s warrants to buy shares in Greece’s largest lender from the country’s bank rescue fund because the current share price was too low. As part of Greece’s 240-billion-euro international bailout, its top four banks, including National Bank, were recapitalized mainly by the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF) after losses from a sovereign debt writedown and bad loans. Investors who took part in National Bank’s recapitalization were given warrants as an incentive. These give holders the right to buy National Bank shares from the HFSF at a set price, known as the strike price. However, with National Bank’s shares trading below the 4.37 euros per share strike price, investors exercised only 31,046 warrants out of an outstanding total of 245.7 million in the first exercise period, the bank said on Tuesday. That means they will buy 255,410 National Bank shares from the HFSF, which owns about 84 percent of the bank. The transaction will result in proceeds of 1.1 million euros for the HFSF and increase the amount of National Bank shares available to be traded by 0.011 percent.