Hellenic Bank plans to pay out dividends for 2023

Hellenic Bank intends to request regulatory approval to pay out dividends for 2023, the bank’s interim CEO Antonis Rouvas said at a press conference where the bank announced its first-half financial results.

“It is up to the Board of Directors to decide when the application will be submitted,” said Rouvas. “We haven’t reached that stage yet; we are still preparing our new strategic plan. The new strategic planning round begins in the autumn and it is during this round that we will look at the matter.”

Among the factors that will be taken into account before submitting the application for dividends will be the sustainability of the bank’s profitability, he said.

Asked to comment on reports that Greece’s Eurobank is preparing a strategic roadmap to take over Hellenic Bank, having already acquired a 29% stake in the bank (once it reaches the 30% benchmark, the law on acquisitions provides that Eurobank must make a public offer to take over Hellenic), Rouvas said the fact alone that Eurobank has increased its stake in Hellenic shows that it believes in the bank.

“For us, it affirms that the bank is doing well, it confirms Hellenic Bank’s business model and potential, and reaffirms its role in the Cypriot economy,” he said. “Hellenic has become established as a main pillar of the economy.”

As he said, Eurobank already runs a bank in Cyprus and so it is important that the interest is being expressed by an entity that isn’t foreign to Cyprus.

“They are present in Cyprus and are aware of the challenges but also all the issues – the supervisory framework, the political system, labour issues – and they are consciously choosing to come in and acquire Hellenic Bank. This is clearly a vote of confidence, not just in Hellenic Bank but also the Cyprus economy,” said Rouvas.

Asked what this means for HB’s business model, the interim CEO said the bank continues to implement its business plan as before. “We have a strong, deeply-rooted and tested business model, which has clearly attracted another bank to look at it and invest in it. So, we continue on the same path until there are other decisions. But for the time being, nothing changes.”

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