The Board of Directors, taking into account the successful operational model of Eurobank EFG in Greece and the Bank’s ability to leverage its competitive advantages in New Europe, decided today to propose to the General Meeting of the Shareholders a share capital increase of €1.2 billion in cash in favour of existing shareholders. The Board of Directors believes that the proposed share capital increase will benefit the Bank and its 260,000 shareholders, as it will accelerate the creation of a powerful pillar of growth in New Europe, commensurate to the one in Greece.
The funds raised will be used to finance targeted acquisitions outside Greece and to support the accelerated expansion of the group’s business, primarily abroad. The Eurobank EFG Group is aiming to further strengthen its presence in New Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean region in countries where it is already active, but also to enter into other countries of the region that demonstrate significant development prospects. Already during the first six months of 2007, business development growth rates outside Greece, especially in loans, are estimated to exceed expectations.
Eurobank EFG`s main shareholder with a participation of 41.2%, the EFG Group, has confirmed that will it exercise all its rights.
In New Europe, Eurobank EFG is successfully transforming itself into a regional financial Group with realized investments in excess of €1.3 billion, a retail network of over 900 branches and more than 10,500 employees. Total loans in New Europe more than doubled during the last year and are estimated to reach approximately €6 billion by the end of the first semester of 2007.
Since new funds will be utilised to enhance organic growth and to finance new acquisitions, Eurobank EFG will revise upwards the Group as well as New-Europe-specific targets, for 2008 and beyond. Eurobank EFG was targeting more than €60 million of profits from New Europe operations in 2007 and more than €260 million in 2009, taking into account the Bank`s current investments only.
In parallel, Eurobank EFG is maintaining its strong growth in the Greek market; the last few years the Bank has gained market share in most areas, has improved its profitability and has increased its dividend.
The General Shareholder’s Meeting requested to approve the share capital increase, will convene as soon as possible, in order for the share capital increase to be completed within September 2007.