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CYPRUS: Hellenic lists 87m new shares, opts for stock split.

Hellenic Bank, the recently recapitalised lender that boasts Daniel Loeb's Third Point Hellenic Recovery Fund and online game developers among its major shareholders, has decided to proceed with a 50:1 reverse stock split, reducing the number of shares listed on the Cyprus Stock Exchange from 9.4 bln shares to 187 mln.

Traditionally the island's third biggest lender, prior to the collapse of Laiki Popular Bank in 2013, Hellenic has transformed itself from a conservative bank to "a very different and stronger bank with robust capital base and liquidity", using its own words.

The board decided on Monday to restructure the share capital of the bank through a reverse stock split, as well as a share-bonus package for executive officers, including CEO Bert Pijls. Only last week, the bank listed 87.4 mln new shares that emerged from the unexercised rights which had not been covered by the issue last November, that wil probably be used as part of the share remuneration scheme.

In all, the bank raised a further e1/4204 mln from its recent capital share increase, covering 92% of the target set, in addition to the e1/4100 mln raised from Third Point, Wargaming and local investment fund Demetra in early 2014 that rescued the bank from a state-sponsored bailout or bail-in of depositors.

With the completion of its share capital increase, the bank's Common Equity Tier 1 ratio presently stands at 12.8%.

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Publication:Financial Mirror (Cyprus)
Date:Feb 4, 2015
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