Greece will get second EU/IMF aid tranche-FinMin

ATHENS, July 24 (BestGrowthStock) – Greece will now get a second
aid tranche of a European Union and International Monetary Fund
bailout as it has met the conditions set in an austerity plan,
its finance minister was quoted as saying on Saturday.

EU, IMF and European Central Bank officials will be in
Athens on Monday to check whether Greece is implementing its
110 billion euro ($141.6 billion) programme to secure another 9
billion euros in aid. Greece received a first payment of 20
billion euros from its euro zone partners and the IMF in May.

“The disbursement of the second tranche depends on whether
we meet the targets we have been set to meet by June 30,”
Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said in an interview
with the weekly Kosmos tou Ependyti newspaper.

“These conditions have been met and we have taken a further
step by passing the pension reform bill.”

The EU, ECB and IMF mission gave the debt-laden country
good marks at the end of June, saying it seemed on track with
the plan to cut public expenditure, boost revenues and make
structural reforms.[ID:nLDE65G1IC]

But they pointed to some trouble spots, including hospital
spending and social security overruns.

The Minister also reiterated his call on Greek banks to
join forces in order to be able to pour liquidity into the
market and help boost the country’s economy.

“Any decisions that lead to bigger groups with high capital
adequacy, international expansion and scale economies will help
towards this direction,” Papaconstantinou said.

Earlier this month Greece’s fourth-largest lender, Piraeus
Bank (BOPr.AT: ), offered to buy the state’s controlling stakes
in Hellenic Postbank (TT) (GPSr.AT: ) and ATEbank (AGBr.AT: ),
setting the stage for mergers in the sector. [ID:nLDE66F06F]

Papaconstantinou said the government would not make up its
mind on the bid until its advisers finished their evaluation.

Bank stress test results published on Friday showed ATEbank
and another six European lenders failed and were ordered to
raise their capital by 3.5 billion euros, much less than
expected, confirming fears the continent’s long-awaited stress
test was too soft. [ID:nSGE66M07W]

Stock Market Report

(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Ron Popeski)

Greece will get second EU/IMF aid tranche-FinMin