By Stelios Orphanides
Hellenic Bank Ltd will “immediately” launch the necessary procedures to list the lender’s share at the Athens Exchange parallel to the listing at the Cyprus Stock Exchange following a board of directors decision, the bank said.
The dual listing aims at strengthening the tradability and liquidity of its stock, securing access to a broad investor basis and increasing its visibility and credibility, Hellenic said today in a statement on the CSE website.
Irena Georgiadou, the lender’s chairwoman said that the listing at the Athens Exchange may be completed in the first months of 2015, as “we have our prospectus approved and therefore it won’t be difficult,” she said.
The new board of directors and Bert Pijls, the chief executive officer appointed a month ago, “want to take the bank forward,” she said. “We are not afraid to be compared to our peers in Athens. We want the advantages which come with the listing,” including being scrutinized by market analysts.
Hellenic’s main shareholders include the Nicosia-based Wargaming Public Company, the New York–based Third Point, who each have 20.3 per cent of the lender’s shares, Demetra Investments Plc Ltd with 10.6 per cent and the Archbishopric of Cyprus with 8 per cent. Archbishop Chrysostomos said November 26, the Church will not participate in the bank’s rights issue which is currently underway.
The dual listing of the bank’s share in Athens and Nicosia is part of the bank’s “strategic growth plan to reinforce its position as one of the most important financial institutions in Cyprus,” the lender said in an email statement.
“Hellenic Bank enters the new era of dynamic growth as being the only systemic bank that has not been impacted by bail-in or bail-out measures, enjoying unparalleled liquidity position without any dependence on the emergency liquidity assistance or any other form of dependence of the European Central Bank,” the bank said.