Banks have been bat­tered since 2015

Kathimerini English - - Focus - ANESTIS DOKAS

The three-week hol­i­day forced upon Greek banks in July 2015, af­ter the cap­i­tal con­trols were im­posed on June 28, has been the credit sec­tor’s main event to date since the out­break of the eco­nomic cri­sis. This on­go­ing sit­u­a­tion, a fes­ter­ing wound for banks, which mainly af­fects the re­turn of deposits, is clearly re­flected in stock prices.

Two days be­fore the so-called bank hol­i­day and the im­po­si­tion of cap­i­tal con­trols, the banks in­dex at Athi­non Av­enue had closed at 13,175.20 points. The in­dex has since suf­fered a loss of 93.9 per­cent.

The pic­ture is neg­a­tive in the first cou­ple of months of this year alone, as the cap­i­tal­iza­tion of the four sys­temic banks has dropped from 8.42 bil­lion eu­ros at the end of De­cem­ber to 7.77 bil­lion: a loss of 653 mil­lion eu­ros in the stock value of Alpha, Na­tional, Pi­raeus and Eurobank in less than two months.

In­ter­na­tional ob­servers re­port that the main chal­lenges Greek banks face are the re­turn of deposits, the re­duc­tion of bad loans, the fur­ther eas­ing of cap­i­tal con­trols, and a re­turn to profit. These mat­ters will be on the agenda of talks Greek bank rep­re­sen­ta­tives are set to hold with in­vestors at the Mor­gan Stan­ley con­fer­ence in Lon­don on March 21-23.

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