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.
- 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.
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.