The FINANCIAL -- The EBRD has successfully participated in a covered bond issue by Alpha Bank A.E. in Greece with an investment of €40 million in the total offering of €500 million. The issuance attracted strong interest from international investors, signalling growing confidence in the country’s banking sector and economic recovery.
Alpha’s five-year issuance adds to the tenor of the recent public covered bond issuances in Greece, contributing to the development of the benchmark pricing curve. This landmark transaction will pave the way for Alpha Bank to re-establish a recurring presence on the international markets.
The bonds will support Alpha Bank’s sustained access to medium-term funding, diversify its funding sources and reduce its reliance on Eurosystem funding. As a result, Alpha Bank will be able to expand mortgage lending and support the real estate market, which is expected to benefit the country’s real economy, according to the EBRD.
Alpha Bank is one of the four systemic banks in Greece with its shares listed in the Athens Stock Exchange. It offers a wide range of high-quality financial products and services including retail banking, SME and corporate banking, asset management and private banking, the distribution of insurance products, investment banking, brokerage and real estate management.
Covered bonds represent a viable and effective funding tool and are viewed as low-risk investments given that they are backed by assets on the issuing banks’ balance sheet.
Alpha Bank’s covered bonds are rated B3 by Moody’s and B by Fitch and will be listed in the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.
Lucyna Stańczak-Wuczyńska, EBRD Director for EU Banks in the Financial Institutions Group, said: “We are very pleased for Alpha Bank and the success of its latest bond issuance, and the EBRD is very proud to be a part of it. The strong interest in the issuance shows us that investors’ interest in Greece has returned and this is an encouraging sign for the country’s growth prospects.”
Vassilios Psaltis, General Manager and Chief Financial Officer of Alpha Bank, said: “We welcome the participation of the EBRD in our latest covered bond issuance, which reinforces our long-standing partnership and demonstrates the confidence of the international community in Alpha Bank’s further growth prospects.”
The EBRD started investing in Greece on a temporary basis in 2015 to support the country’s economic recovery. The Bank’s priorities are to strengthen private companies and the financial sector, and to support privatisation, infrastructure development and regional integration of the Greek economy.
Since the beginning of its operations in Greece, the Bank has invested over €1.45 billion in almost 30 projects in the country.