National Bank successfully completes sale of covered bond issue

National Bank successfully completed its first covered bond auction since 2009, signaling its return to international capital markets, sources said on Tuesday.

The issue is the first by a Greek bank since 2014 and it is included in the framework of actions aimed to cut the bank’s dependence from the ELA mechanism. National Bank checked investors’ intentions in July and completed all preparatory works for the issue. The sources said that the warm support of investors came following a recent round of meetings between National Bank’s executives with international institutional investors in London, Frankfurt, Munich and Milan. The meeting were completed on Monday and the bank decided to open the bookbuilding process with an estimated return of around 3.25 pct, early on Tuesday. By midday, demand for the issue surpassed 2.0 billion euros leading the bank to review its return levels around 3.0 pct and to finalize the size of the issue at 750 million euros.

The sources said that the interest rate of the issue was set at 2.90 pct. More than 140 investors participated in the bookbuilding process.