Greek Banks Set to Delay Earnings Release Amid Asset Review

Greece’s Finance Ministry is allowing the country’s listed banks to delay first-half results by one month amid a review of their balance sheets by European regulators.

The extension of the existing Aug. 31 deadline to Sept. 30 was recommended by the country’s Systemic Stability Board, the Finance Ministry said in a decree published on its website Thursday. It cited the need to give banks more time to release results for “reasons of financial stability.”

Having lost access to normal European Central Bank funding, Greek lenders are relying on almost 90 billion euros ($102 billion) of Emergency Liquidity Assistance extended by the central bank to stay afloat, amid record deposit outflows. European leaders pledged to shore up the Greek banking system with 25 billion euros of capital to repair the damage from restrictions on transactions imposed in late June, following a clash between the government and its creditors.

The cash injection will take place after an ECB-led asset quality review, which started this month, followed by a stress test, the results of which will be released by end-October. Government officials have said they aim to complete the recapitalization process before the end of the year, when legislation allowing the bail in of deposits over 100,000 euros comes into force.

The Bank of Greece said today that deposits in the nation’s financial system fell to a 12-year low of 120.8 billion euros in July. The pace of withdrawals has decelerated compared to previous months due to the imposition of capital controls. Greek households and businesses have withdrawn 26.9 percent of their savings from Greek banks in the last 12 months, the Bank of Greece said.

Eurobank Ergasias SA was scheduled to report results Friday, while National Bank of Greece SA, the country’s biggest lender by assets, Alpha Bank AE and Piraeus Bank SA haven’t provided a date. An index for Greek bank shares has lost two thirds of its value since shares resumed trading Aug. 3.

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