Gov’t wants an in­creased stake in banks

Kathimerini English - - Focus - YIAN­NIS PAPADOYIANNIS

The two is­sues re­main­ing re­gard­ing the new leg­isla­tive frame­work for the re­cap­i­tal­iza­tion of banks are the stakes of the state in the lenders’ share cap­i­tal and how great a say the state will have in cor­po­rate gov­er­nance.

Sources say that the gov­ern­ment is press­ing for the hold­ings that the Hel­lenic Financial Sta­bil­ity Fund (HFSF) has in banks to be trans­formed into 30 per­cent in com­mon shares and 70 per­cent in con­vert­ible bonds (Co­Cos). This of course con­cerns the banks that will man­age to at­tract enough pri­vate cap­i­tal to re­tain their pri­vate char­ac­ter, oth­er­wise they will be re­cap­i­tal­ized only with state-owned com­mon shares.

The orig­i­nal pro­posal was for the ra­tio to be 20 per­cent shares and 80 per­cent Co­Cos, but the gov­ern­ment is con­cerned that this may not safe­guard the state’s hold­ings in the banks’ share cap­i­tal. There­fore, the gov­ern­ment is ask­ing its cred­i­tors for a 30 per­cent stake in shares.

An­a­lysts note that all this should have been dis­cussed and agreed a long time ago, adding that the gov­ern­ment started deal­ing with the banks’ is­sue be­lat­edly and with­out hav­ing formed any clear strat­egy.

Al­ter­nate Fi­nance Min­is­ter Try­fon Alexiadis stated yes­ter­day that ve­hi­cles that have so far been ex­empted from road tax will as of 2016 have to pay a small amount, too, payable by De­cem­ber 31, 2015. Many of those that cur­rently en­joy a dis­count will also see a tax hike, he added.

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