Nicosia - Hellenic Bank shareholders yesterday approved a recapitalisation plan aimed at raising an extra €294 million.
It said the EGM’s unanimous vote – which will allow Hellenic to satisfy Central Bank capital requirements based on the worse case scenario of Pimco -- was one of the most important decisions in the history of the group.
Hellenic will now increase approved capital, reduce the nominal value of the shares and issue new ordinary shares to shareholders, bond holders and investors among other steps, it said.
Group chairman Andreas Panayiotou told yesterday’s EGM that Hellenic had opposed its inclusion in the bailout decisions.
He said the group felt bitter that its responsible, pre-emptive actions had not been appreciated.
The group was nevertheless complying with the decision to recapatilise, in line with the recommendation of the supervisory authority.
And the chairman voiced optimism about the group’s future, based on its strong balance sheet, correct evaluation of economic developments, effective risk management, the dedication and professionalism of its staff and the trust of its shareholders.
CEO Makis Keravnos said the group had managed to the greatest possible extent to minimise the fallout from the financial crisis through preventive, prudent management and exemplary cooperation with the supervisory authorities, particularly the Central Bank.
“I am obliged to repeat that unfortunately a few have created a very large bill which now a lot of people, including Hellenic Bank have to pay, without being to blame or having any responsibility,” Keravnos said.
He also referred to measures taken to reduce operating and labour costs, including the closure of companies including Pancyprian Finance, Factors and Athena.
Other measures include the merger of branches islandwide and a voluntary early retirement scheme which led to additional savings of 14% in labour costs.
Group chief financial officer Antonis Rouvas said the group aimed to complete all the necessary restructuring work within the deadline, ensure compliance with capital adequacy requirements and maintain its autonomy.