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Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of EFG Eurobank Ergasias shareholders was held today. The AGM approved, among others, the results of the financial year ending 31.12.2000.
The Annual General Meeting of EFG Eurobank Ergasias shareholders was held today. The AGM approved, among others, the results of the financial year ending 31.12.2000.
The Bank’s Chairman Mr. Xenophon Nikitas referred to the Group’s key strategic objectives:
  • A leading position in the Greek market, rapid organic growth and a focus on segments offering high profitability and significant growth prospects;
  • An emphasis on quality and comprehensive client service;
  • A presence in the wider Balkan region and ready access to European markets for Greek clients, mainly through the Bank's co-operation with the EFG Bank Group and Deutsche Bank;
  • Creation of shareholder value combined with enhanced competitiveness.
As stressed by Mr Nikitas, EFG Eurobank Ergasias, with its impressive growth path, in line with its strategy that fully responds to the new market conditions, is fully equipped and well-positioned to remain the fastest-growing bank; to successfully meet all emerging challenges; and, most importantly, to take advantage of the new opportunities that present themselves. Mr Nikitas also referred in detail to the process of the operational merger, which, as he pointed out, is progressing at a satisfactory pace and will be completed by the second half of this year. “The importance of a smooth operational merger of the two banks is major. A harmonious and successful merging of the strengths and advantages possessed by each bank will bring to the fore even stronger competitive advantages, it will allow the development of new synergies and greater economies of scale, and reduce operational cost. It will also result in the enhancement of our productivity and competitiveness at Group level. The merger process is progressing according to schedule. Central services, including Treasury, Back Office, Custody, Financial Services, and Human Resources, have already merged fully. Risk-management and credit-approval processes have also been integrated. Support functions to the branch network have also been automated and centralised to achieve greater effectiveness and guarantee better attention to customer needs. The next step will be the complete harmonisation of products and services, which is already under way. The harmonisation of IT systems is also in progress, and the implementation of a single platform will be completed before the end of 2001.’’ For his part, Mr. Nicholas Nanopoulos, Chief Executive Officer of EFG Eurobank Ergasias stressed, among other things, that the Bank strives to realise its key strategic objective, that is, to establish a leading position in the local market, through dynamic organic growth focusing on high-growth and high-profitability market segments. These segments include, among others, retail banking, investment banking and capital markets, asset management, and lending to Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises. According to the figures presented:
  • In Retail Banking, loans and advances to clients grew by 58% in the year 2000. In consumer lending, market share reached 26%, from 23% in 1999, while in credit cards it reached 28%, a 7% increase over 1999, with approximately 1,000,000 cards under management. In mortgage lending, market share reached 17%, with the share in new closing being much higher.
  • In Investment Banking and Capital Markets, the Bank enjoys a leading position in brokerage transactions, with a market share of 6.3% (9.7% including Telesis) in the first four months of 2001, compared with 5.8% in 2000. The Bank also holds the leading position in IPO underwriting in the Athens Stock Exchange, with a market share of 19% at the end of 2000, and a much higher share in the first four months of the current year.
  • In Private Banking, clients exceed 10,000 and are serviced through 14 specialised units located around the country offering customized products and services.
  • In Mutual Funds, the Bank currently ranks first, with a market share of approximately 19.5%, up from 17.8% at the end of 2000, and assets under management of GRD 1.9 trillion. In closed-end funds, the market share of the Bank stands at 27%, giving it the leading position in the sector.
  • In SMEs, the Bank works with over 7,000 companies with a turnover of 1 million euro or more. In addition, the Bank works with over 25,000 small businesses and entrepreneurs.
  • In Leasing, the Bank holds a market share of 21%, with total new leasing agreements reaching GRD 77 billion.
Mr Nanopoulos stressed that all of the aforementioned segments exhibit great growth potential. This is mainly attributable to the growing demand for banking services and to the still-unutilized vast potential of the networks acquired. There is significant potential for the development of synergies and cross-selling, which will result in improved client service and to an increase in revenues and profitability.
Continuing, Mr Nanopoulos referred to some basic financials and the results of the financial year 2000, highlighting some important conclusions, such as:
  • Rapid organic growth is reflected in the rapid growth rate of the loan portfolio (34%);
  • Emphasis on high-profitability segments (retail banking and SMEs) is reflected in the composition of the loan portfolio, and results in the largest NIM in the Greek banking sector (3.5%);
  • A key fact highlighting the high quality of profitability is the low dependency of financial results on trading gains, which account for just 0.25% of assets, one of the lowest rates in the Greek banking sector;
  • A high capital-adequacy ratio (16.3% at the end of 2000) allows the Bank to continue its strong organic growth, without having to raise new capital.

In his concluding remarks, Mr Nanopoulos stressed that: "In the new globalised and highly-competitive environment, the strategic stance of the EFG Eurobank Ergasias Group is clear: to create the conditions leading up to a commanding position in the domestic market, particularly in those segments which embody the strongest prospects for growth and the best profit margins, while at the same time consolidating our presence in the wider region. Our strategy is based on five points: competitiveness, innovation, quality, low cost, and technology. Our market share, which grows by the day, our modern and efficient distribution networks, the strong and long-term relations of trust we enjoy with thousands of clients, the synergies in revenues and cross-selling, the modern methods of compensation and incentives, together with the effective risk-management systems we operate, all constitute the solid foundations on which are building a bank of excellent prospects, a bank that we want to see become the Greek public's first choice. We are optimistic that the completion of the merger of Eurobank and Ergasias will generate a new growth dynamic that will allow our Group to achieve significant synergies in terms of cost and revenue, as we increasingly expoit the advantages from the networks we have acquired, as well as the ones we are in the process of developing. We have an ambitious goal: to create a strong, efficient and highly profitable bank, to the benefit of our shareholders, our clients, and of course our staff."
Prior to the opening of the AGM proceedings, a minute of silence was observed in memory of Ioanna Gratsia, a Bank employee who lost her life in a tragic accident in the region of Kalavryta.