The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookiesbefore using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

EU funds reinvigorate and bail out Greek banks

The EU’s Recovery and Resilience Fund (RRF) is spurring talk of growth at Greek banks. But for their investors, it’s still all about last decade’s legacy.

Dominic O'Neill on Europe 1920px.jpg

“Greek Renaissance at last” proclaims a research note on banks and the economy from Bank of America this July.

It is the sort of gushing missive, complete with allusions to early modern philosophy and ancient Mediterranean history, that immediately sparks scepticism.

Greek banks are indeed back on the map for big international institutional investors, just as the country's non-performing loan market is attracting more interest too.

The likes of BlackRock and Norway’s sovereign wealth fund participated in yet another post-crisis capital raising by Piraeus Bank in April, which Piraeus followed by issuing Greece’s first additional tier-1 bond issue.

Most recently, Alpha Bank completed an €800 million equity raising at the start of July.

Aside from the sector’s low valuation – a 70% discount to book value – the key lure is an acceleration of bad-debt sales this year and, hopefully, in 2022.

Thanks to the success of the state’s Hercules Asset Protection Scheme (HAPS), Bank of America notes, all four big Greek banks have come up with plans to cut sector-wide non-performing exposures from 30% to single-digit proportions this year, and to about 5% of their loan books in 2022.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?