The final exit of Third Point from Hellenic Bank brought a new strong shareholder to the bank, but also activated a variety of scenarios and speculations for the next day, not only in the Greek but also in the Cypriot banking system.
Eurobank Group, which has been operating a subsidiary bank since 2007, Eurobank Cyprus, seized the opportunity for further penetration in Cyprus. Over time, Eurobank executives did not hide their interest in the country and the prospect of further strengthening its presence in Cyprus.
According to information, processes of several weeks preceded, while the other shareholders of Hellenic Bank were in line with Eurobank's intentions. Eurobank controls from 12.6% of the shares of Elliniki, with the acquisition of the shares being carried out in two phases. 9.9% was bought through the CSE (at a price of 0.80 euros per share), while for the acquisition of the remaining 2.7% a share purchase agreement (“SPA”) was concluded with Third Point which is subject to acceptance relevant approvals from regulatory authorities. Approval is required when a new shareholder enters a eurozone bank with a rate of more than 10%.
The development is evaluated positively both for Hellenic Bank itself (which acquires a new shareholder) and for the Cypriot banking system in general (which despite the difficulties remains attractive to foreign investors).
“It is a positive fact that a well-known and strong financial institution from Greece gives us a vote of confidence”, comment sources of the Hellenic Bank, welcoming the new shareholder.
The next steps
The management of Eurobank, both through the announcement issued and through the position of the CEO of Eurobank Holdings, Fokion Karavia, during yesterday's general meeting of the company, does not hide that it is proceeding with a strategic position in the context of a broader expansion plan. of international activities of the Greek banking group, which is controlled by the Canadian Fairfax of the Indo-Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa.
“This strategic commitment (organic and non-organic expansion of the group's international activities) is reflected in the move we announced for the purchase of a significant percentage of Hellenic Bank in Cyprus, a bank that we consider to have all the specifications to play a leading role in the future. Cypriot market. “I note that this is the first move to expand the Greek banking system abroad after 15 years,” said Mr. Karavias.
In a statement, Eurobank comments that it “looks forward to working closely with the other shareholders and the Board of Directors of Hellenic Bank” and pledges to contribute positively and constructively to Hellenic Bank, with its management, capital structure and loyal customer base. take advantage of existing prospects and seize future opportunities.
Regarding Hellenic Bank itself, it believes that “with its management, capital structure and loyal customer base, it is in an advantageous position to take advantage of the existing prospects and take advantage of future opportunities.”