SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

August 03, 2011 08:16 ET

Troubled European Banks Look to Reduce Dependency on European Central Bank

The Bedford Report Provides Equity Research on National Bank of Greece and Allied Irish Banks

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Aug 3, 2011) - While share prices for many European Banks remain near 52-week lows, several firms have begun showing signs of recovery. In recent quarters Euro Banks have been developing methods to make sufficient returns for their shareholders while meeting a myriad of new and expensive regulatory requirements. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the Foreign Banking Sector and provides stock analysis on National Bank of Greece SA (NYSE: NBG) and Allied Irish Banks (NYSE: AIB) (Irish: AIB.IR). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

Greek banks have been left largely reliant on emergency support from the European Central Bank amid a shrinking economy, downgrades by credit-ratings companies and concern over their holding of Greek government bonds. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development argues that Greek banks should look at mergers with foreign lenders to help them tap market funding and shouldn't rush to reduce their reliance on the European Central Bank.

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When Allied Irish Banks announced first half earnings last week, executive chairman David Hodgkinson said the firm is hopeful of returning to profit on an operating level in 2012, and of that it is possible of doing so on a net basis too.

Like all Irish banks, AIB is currently dependent on funding from the European Central Bank to pay for its day-to-day operations, although it hopes to begin raising funds on the external market in the near future. "We are lessening our dependence all the time. As the capital has come into place we will be actively looking to ways to raise funds from the external market so that the dependence on the ECB continues to lessen," said Mr. Hodgkinson.

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