Na­tional Bank cov­ered bond is­sue proves great suc­cess

Kathimerini English - - Focus - YIANNIS PAPADOYIANNIS

The cov­ered bond is­sue by the Na­tional Bank of Greece was com­pleted yes­ter­day, be­com­ing the first Greek lender to tap the mar­ket since 2014 and se­cur­ing the amount of 750 mil­lion euros at a rate of just 2.9 per­cent, far below the orig­i­nal es­ti­mate for 3.25 per­cent.

As many as 110 in­vestors took part in the is­sue, of­fer­ing the bank 2 bil­lion euros. The bond was over­sub­scribed al­most 2.7 times. Kathimerini un­der­stands that al­most half of the in­vestors were from the UK (45 per­cent), an­other 15 per­cent were from Ger­many, Aus­tria and Switzer­land, 15 per­cent from Italy and 14 per­cent from Greece.

It is the first time since 2009 that Na­tional has is­sued a cov­ered bond, mark­ing the bank’s re­turn to in­ter­na­tional money mar­kets. The is­sue is part of the lender’s ef­forts to re­gain its in­de­pen­dence from the Bank of Greece’s emer­gency liq­uid­ity as­sis­tance (ELA) mech­a­nism. NBG of­fi­cials es­ti­mate that, fol­low­ing the suc­cess­ful bond is­sue, the bank will now be able to pay off all of its dues to the ELA mech­a­nism by the end of the year.

Sec­tor of­fi­cials add that the suc­cess of the is­sue opens the way for other banks to re­turn to the mar­kets.

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