ANNOUNCED AS TEMPORARYNo
Capital injection and equity stakes (including bailouts)
On 20 April, theHellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF) commited to a share capital increase of Alpha Bank, worth EUR 1.9 billion. HFSF was established on 3 May 2010 and its stated primary purpose is to safeguard the stability of the Greek banking system by providing equity capital to credit institutions. The amount of EUR 1.9 billion has finally been transferred on 28 may 2012. (par. 14, letter from the EC to Greece, Brussels 27.7.2012)
Alpha Bank is one of the largest banks in Greece, providing services in retail, SMS and corporate banking, credit cards, investment banking, private banking, brokerage, leasing and factoring.
Already in May 2009, Alpha Bank received a capital injection of EUR 940 million under the recapitalization scheme (related measure). Furthermore, the bank benefits from state guarantees amounting for 9.8 billion and additional bond loans of EUR 0.5 billion. (par. 39)
The EC finds that: 'HFSF receives its resources from the State. The HFSF has a limited duration up to 2017, and so any profit or loss it incurs will eventually be borne by the State.' (par. 47)
With regard to distortions, the EC concludes that: 'the position of the beneficiary was strengthened since the bank was provided with the financial resources to continue to comply with the capital requirements, thus leading to competition distortions. As the bank is active in other European financial markets and as financial institutions from other Member States operate in Greece, the bridge recapitalisation by the HFSF is also likely to affect trade between Member States.' (par. 49)
A state measure in the GTA database is assessed solely in terms of the extent to which its implementation affects the extent of discrimination against foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the state aid proposed here is discriminatory.
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