2012-05-29 — huffingtonpost.com
Greece handed 18 billion euros ($22.6 billion) to its four biggest banks on Monday, the finance ministry said, allowing the stricken lenders to regain access to European Central Bank funding.
The long-awaited injection - via bonds from the European Financial Stability Facility rescue fund - will boost the nearly depleted capital base of National Bank, Alpha , Eurobank and Piraeus Bank.
Bleeding deposits, the country's lenders have borrowed 73.4 billion euros from the ECB and 54 billion from the Bank of Greece via the ELA as of end-January.
Together, the sums translate to about 77 percent of the banking system's household and business deposits, which stood at about 165 billion euros at the end of March.
Funded by the euro zone and the IMF, the HFSF is due to inject up to 50 billion euros into the country's banks in return for shares which it hopes to sell some day.
The funds are part of a second, 130-billion euro bailout Greece agreed this year with its euro zone partners and the IMF to stave off bankruptcy.
So far the HFSF has received 25 billion euros under the scheme and the 18 billion euros it disbursed on Monday is its largest payout to banks.
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