The National Bank of Greece, the country’s biggest lender, is planning to increase its share capital by as much as 2.1 billion euros ($2.9 billion) to cover a shortfall identified in the national regulator’s stress test, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
Greek lenders’ success last month in raising funds from foreign investors shows the government can reach its goal of returning to bond markets, said George Provopoulos, the country’s central-bank chief.
Europe’s worsening growth prospects are losing significance for bond investors as bets the European Central Bank will begin asset-purchase stimulus measures support demand for the region’s higher-yielding bonds.
European Central Bank Governing Council member George Provopoulos said a “normalization” on financial markets suggests the ECB might never need to activate its Outright Monetary Transactions bond-buying plan.
Greece’s bonds jumped, sending yields to a four-year low, and stocks climbed on speculation the country will reach an agreement with international creditors to ensure its bank-recapitalization requirements are manageable.
U.S. stocks ended the session little changed with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index failing to hold above its record closing level for a third straight day. The dollar strengthened against most major peers while gold slid with silver and natural gas dropped a third day.