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Greece’s biggest banks may appear to be out of danger, but they are not
ON THE face of things, Greece’s four big banks are in their best shape in years. In November they received their third bail-out in as many years. The extra €14.4 billion ($15.9 billion) they got then (some of it from private investors) raised their capital ratios to 18%, well above the European average of 13%. Recent legal changes make it easier for them to repossess collateral and to sell loans to third parties. Better yet, recent data suggest the economy shrank by only 0.2% last year, much less than initially feared. The Bank of Greece predicts that growth could return as early as this summer. After eight years of crisis and recession, normality at last seems within reach.
But beneath the cushion of fresh capital, cracks remain. Greek banks are still losing money. Piraeus Bank, the country’s second-largest …
via Economic Crisis http://ift.tt/225XgQT