Greece's Eurobank ends capital increase with strong demand

A man walks past an Eurobank's branch in central Athens on April 8, 2013

Greece's Eurobank said Tuesday a 2.86-billion-euro share capital increase mandated by the central bank had ended with strong demand from private investors.

"Both the public offering and the international offering were oversubscribed," the bank said, adding: "Over 250 institutional investors participated in the international offering, confirming the strong interest in Eurobank."

The Hellenic stability fund -- the state entity that until now shored up banks with EU funds -- said a core group of institutional investors who had made an early guaranteed offer for Eurobank had increased the share price to 0.31 euros from 0.30 euros.

"The book was three times oversubscribed at this price," the Hellenic stability fund said.

"We are impressed by the high level of quality and demand as well as the participation of long-only funds, sovereign wealth funds and the cornerstone investors," Hellenic stability fund CEO Anastasia Sakellariou said in a statement.

Eurobank's new shares will begin trading on May 9.

Greek lenders have been shoring up their balance sheets following a recent recommendation by the central bank.

Greece's top lender National Bank plans a capital increase of up to 2.5 billion euros ($3.5 billion) next month.

Two other top banks -- Piraeus and Alpha -- have respectively raised 1.75 billion and 1.2 billion euros.

The Bank of Greece had said the four main Greek lenders -- National Bank, Piraeus, Alpha and Eurobank -- needed nearly 6.4 billion euros in additional capital.

The banks had been recapitalised last year as part of the Greek EU-IMF bailout.

A sum of 50 billion euros from Greece's EU-IMF rescue loans was earmarked for their recapitalisation after heavy losses suffered by Greek banks which wrote down privately held Greek government bonds in 2012.

At the time, Eurobank was unable to attract enough private funds and was recapitalised by the state.