Major Greek banks rebounded today after yesterday’s almost catastrophic sell-offs.
Greek bank stocks rebounded as the new government made an effort to downplay the prospect of an imminent standoff with Greece’s EU/IMF creditors.
Ministers of Greece’s new anti-bailout cabinet led by Alexis Tsipras promised to raise salaries and halt privatizations while making comments of defiance regarding Greece’s bailout program and its international creditors. As a result, within 48 hours, stocks in Athens fell to lows not seen since the peak of the debt crisis, with banks, in which Greek taxpayers are the biggest shareholders, losing close to 10 billion euros of their value.
Regarding the new cabinet’s intentions to keep their promises to the Greek people and implement changes, Gianluca Ziglio, executive director of fixed-income research at Sunrise Brokers LLP in London said, “The market was expecting most of it was going to be political posturing ahead of the elections. Instead there’s walk after the talk, and a good deal of it.”
Deputy Prime Minister Yiannis Dragasakis rushed to say that initial comments made by new cabinet members were due to inexperience.
“We have new ministers who are assuming such duties for the first time, and a society where a dynamic of such expectations has been created,” Dragasakis said late Wednesday. “The Greek government is interested in attracting investors,” he added.
Alpha Bank A.E. shares went up by almost 20 percent today after yesterday’s collapse of 26.8 percent. National Bank of Greece, which also touched a limit down of almost 30 percent yesterday, rose 12.3 percent this morning.
All the major banks are back up today, by between 8 percent and 20 percent. The overall Athens stock index is up just 3 percent in the afternoon, showing that this really is a banking phenomenon.