SOURCE: Five Star Equities

Five Star Equities

July 30, 2012 08:20 ET

Foreign Banks Receive a Boost as European Central Bank Prepared to Take Action to Preserve Euro

Five Star Equities Provides Stock Research on National Bank of Greece and Bank of Ireland

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Jul 30, 2012) - U.S. and European markets surged Thursday after comments from Mario Draghi, chief of the European Central Bank, suggested that the ECB was prepared to take action. "Within our mandate, the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro," Mario Draghi said at a recent conference. "And believe me, it will be enough." Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Foreign Banking Industry and provides equity research on National Bank of Greece (NYSE: NBG) and Bank of Ireland (NYSE: IRE).

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After Draghi's comments, borrowing costs for Spain fell sharply as investors speculated that the ECB would increase their purchases of Spanish government bonds. After surging as high as 7.5 percent this week, the yield on Spain's 10-year bond fell to 6.89 percent. Since May 2010, the ECB has purchased a total of $267 billion in Southern European and Irish government bonds, but have been silent over the last four months.

"The ECB appears to be keen to increase the threat of the [bond-buying program] being woken from its hibernation period," said Ken Wattret, economist at BNP Paribas.

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National Bank of Greece, the oldest and largest among Greek banks, heads the strongest financial group in the country. It boasts a dynamic profile internationally, particularly in Southeastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. The bank recently replaced Alexandros Tourkolias with Prof. Georgios Zanias as Chairman of the Board.

Last Thursday, for the first time in nearly two years, Ireland sold new long term bonds. Ireland's National Treasury Management Agency reported that the country sold more than EUR 5.2-billion ($6.4-billion U.S.) in long-term bonds. "The strong demand and the fact that over EUR 4-billion of this is new money is a significant step for Ireland in regaining our economic sovereignty," Finance Minister Michael Noonan said.

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