Anchor investors bid for big chunk of Greece's Eurobank: sources
By George Georgiopoulos
ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece's bank bailout fund has received bids from anchor investors, including Canada's Fairfax (FFH.TO: Quote) and York Capital, for a big chunk of Eurobank's (EURBr.AT: Quote) 2.86 billion euro ($3.95 billion)share offering, two senior banking sources close to the talks said on Tuesday.
Eurobank, Greece's third-largest lender and 95 percent owned by the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF), is carrying out a share offering to plug a capital shortfall revealed last month in a stress test conducted by the country's central bank.
"The bids from the cornerstone investors fall within the 1.2 to 1.5 billion euro range, targeted by the HFSF bailout fund," one of the bankers told Reuters.
Eurobank, with a market value of 2.19 billion euros, will be the third Greek lender after peers Alpha (ACBr.AT: Quote) and Piraeus (BOPr.AT: Quote) to tap capital markets to bolster equity as recovery prospects lure foreign funds to battered Greek assets.
"The bids give the HFSF confidence that it will successfully conclude the transaction, raising 2.86 billion euros for Eurobank from the markets," the banker said.
This would mean that the HFSF, which is funded by the European Union under the terms of Greece's international bailout, would not have to spend any of its remaining 11 billion euro capital buffer to prop up Eurobank.
The HFSF, which received 50 billion euros of Greek bailout money, has already financed last year's first round of bank recapitalizations.
The Fairfax-led consortium that bid for Eurobank includes institutional investors Fidelity, Wilbur Ross and Mckenzie, another banker close to the talks told Reuters. Continued...