Central Banker Stournaras: External factors responsible for slide of Greek bank shares

10 October 2018
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Bank of Greece (BoG) Gov. Yannis Stournaras broke his silence this week and assessed that the recent “crash” of the banking index at the Athens Stock Exchange (ATHEX) is not linked with Greek lenders’ financial results and prospects, blaming instead the global hike in interest rates, and especially ones affecting neighboring country’s bond yields.

He was indirectly referring to turbulence in international money markets from developments in Italy.

Stournaras, an influential former finance minister but also a favorite “whipping boy” of the current leftist-rightist coalition government, said a continuing improvement in liquidity of thrice bailed-out Greek banks reflects the overall improvement in the country credit system. He pointed to a new reduction – by 200 million euros – in the ELA-ceiling for Greek banks.

The central banker again attracted criticism by the poll-trailing Tsipras government this week for not addressing last week’s “Black Wednesday” at the Athens bourse for banking shares.

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