A large turnout of old shareholders, who saw their stock diminished to less than 1% a year ago when the
A number of former executives, shareholders, lawyers and fund managers expressed their frustration that their stocks were diluted and that no authority had listened to suggestions on how to mend the problem as best as possible.
Despite the tension in the room, the extraordinary meeting called to approve the capital increase voted 87.5% in favour of the proposal and 12.5% rejected it.
The bank's management, board members and other advisors tried to keep the meeting in order, by giving what seemed to be frank replies to as many of the questions possible.
But perhaps the defining moment came when CEO
"Being a foreigner myself in
"We have to change this attitude and learn from the negative experiences. The idea that someone will foreclose on everything to make a quick profit is crazy. We must find the right potential to ensure the future of the
The EGM approval paves the way to the bank's capital increased by a total €1.1 bln from local and foreign investors, fund managers and institutionals.
Already, venture capitalist
In earlier statements, when the bank announced a total of €81 mln in post-tax profits for the first half (Q1: €31 mln), Hourican had said that approval of the capital increase would boost the bank's liquidity ratios far beyond the requirements of the
The Group's capital position was strengthened with Core Equity Tier 1 ratio increased from 10.5% in end-December to 11.3% as at
The board will meet on Friday to approve the audited first-half results, after which we will probably see changes in the board structure, with Russian and Ukrainian shareholders seeing their near-50% combined stake diluted to half and the new investors seeking a major say in the bank's future.
Hourican and his 500-strong recovery team are already making some progress in collecting or cashing-in collateral from non-performing loans of major clients who have so far refused to or evaded repaying their loans, while the bank continues to sell of its overseas and non-core assets.
During the EGM, many spoke of a lack of money supply in the market and that
In what may have been his last shareholders' meeting, chairman
As regards the bank's operations, he agreed with the audience that the bank ought to pay more attention to delays in serving customers and even suggested that some branches may even operate in afternoons in order to meet customers' needs.
There are, Hassapis admitted, delays in processing new loans, but none that would dramatically boost the economy, as other bank officials stated that a total of €160 mln had been granted in new loans to SMEs and individuals.
Hourican said in his opening statements at the EGM that the bank's image today is far batter than what it was a year ago, before it was humiliated being the only bank and the only EU state to impose the bail-in on depositors for the recapitalisation of the bank and to absorb the now defunct Laiki Popular.
But Hourican also warned that "the country needs a strong, clear-cut and simple legislation that will impose the simple rule of 'if you borrow money, then you have to pay it back'."
He blamed the existing law on foreclosures as leading to a rise in non-performing loans, last estimated at just under 50% of the bank's loanbook.
The island's political parties are being stubborn by refusing to pass a revised bill on foreclosures that is conditional to
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