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Φώτο: Ο Πρόεδρος της Optima Bank Γιώργος Τανισκίδης και ο Διευθύνων Σύμβουλος Δ. Κυπαρίσσης

Optima Bank's debut on the stock exchange: earnings and dividend outlook

The public offer expires on Friday, with a maximum price of EUR 7.2 per share. Rapid profitability growth and dividend from 2024. Red loans close to zero. Strong investors put up 51 million euros.

Optima Bank is the first bank to pass through the gates of the Athens Stock Exchange after 17 years, with a public offering starting today and ending on Friday. The bank has completed four years of operations in the Greek market, is rapidly growing its footprint and has shown significantly increased profitability in this financial year, offering new shareholders the prospect of an immediate dividend distribution from next year.

In the public offer, which starts today and will end on Friday, the price range was set between EUR 6.4 and 7.2. Thus, Optima will raise up to EUR 151.2 million and, based on the maximum offering price, its capitalisation will exceed EUR 545 million.

A total of 21 million new ordinary shares will be issued. Of these, 1,050,000 will be allocated to a limited number of persons (board members, executives of bank subsidiaries, staff, customers and suppliers of the bank) and 19,950,000 through a public offer to the investing public. Up to 13,695,000 new shares, or 70% of the securities, will be allocated to special investors, including Motor Oil and cornerstone investors. 5,985,000 shares will be allocated to private investors.

"We are feeling the burden, but we are optimistic that we will have significant oversubscription. The conditions favour us," Optima Bank chairman George Taniskidis had said a few days ago.

The architecture of the capital raise appears to be leading to safe-haven coverage, as participation commitments have been secured from the core shareholder and significant amounts from cornerstone investors (investors receiving a capital commitment). The main shareholder and cornerstone investors have committed a total of EUR 51 million, covering more than 1/3 of the capital increase.

In particular,

  • Ireon Investments Ltd, of the Motor Oil group, the bank's main shareholder and the only shareholder exempt from waiving rights to the raise, has applied to subscribe for shares worth €10 million.
  • Of the cornerstone investors, the largest amount, EUR 21 million, was committed by Reggeborgh Invest B.V., which has stakes in Alpha Bank and Hellaktor. K HAMDOUN CONSULTANCY LTD will invest EUR 5 million. The Irish-based investment companies Magna Umbrella Fund plc, OAKS Emerging Umbrella Fund plc and the Luxembourg-based Manulife Global Fund - Emerging Eastern Europe Fund, managed by Fiera Capital (UK) Limited, committed to cover EUR 15 million of shares.

As the Chairman, Georgios Taniskidis, and the CEO, Dimitris Kyparissis, have indicated, the new funds will give the bank further momentum to expand its loan portfolio.

The new funds raised will be the "firepower" for the implementation of Optima's growth plan. In total, the EUR 143,9 million raised if the increase to the maximum price of EUR 7,2 million is fully covered and after deduction of issue costs of EUR 7,282 million, will be used as working capital. At the same time, with the new capital, the bank will exceed the regulatory capital adequacy requirements. In particular, the Total Capital Requirement Ratio will increase to 19.93% at group level and 19.98% for the bank.

Rapidly increasing profitability

Optima has managed to operate profitably since 2021 and since then has recorded rapid growth in its figures. Its banking model is based on personalized service and rational network expansion, which has 21 branches in Athens and 6 more in major cities, while the 28th branch is expected to open soon in Patras.

In 2021 the bank went from an after-tax loss of EUR 4.899 million to a profit of EUR 10.049 million, while in 2022 profits jumped to EUR 42.427 million. The impressive growth in profitability continued in the first half of 2023, with after-tax profits amounting to EUR 44.096 million, already surpassing the total profits of the 2022 financial year. Based on the figures for the first half of 2023, the return on equity reached 29.6%, much higher than the industry average.

The President of Optima Bank C. Taniskidis had recently said that those who invest in the bank's public offering will be rewarded with a significant dividend from 2023 earnings, which analysts expect to reach EUR 92 million.

It should be noted that this year Optima bank has succeeded in increasing its loan portfolio by EUR 530 million and boosting deposits by over EUR 600 million. Total assets amounted to EUR 3.2 billion, up EUR 601 million compared to 31 December 2022, while its deposits in the first half of the year exceeded EUR 2.8 billion from EUR 2.17 billion at the end of 2022. Optima captured 43.7% of the total deposit growth in H1 2023.

In terms of loans, these exceeded EUR 2 billion, increasing by EUR 351 million compared to the end of 2022. The bank maintained ample liquidity as the loan-to-deposit ratio stood at 72.6% compared to 76.9% in 2022.

Optima bank's competitive advantage is that it is not burdened by a legacy of "red loans" from the past.  held. Non-performing loans were just 11 million at the end of the first half of the year, bringing the NPE ratio to 0.5%, the lowest in the Greek banking industry. Provisions formed significantly exceed red loans, with the coverage ratio at 220% from 181% in 2022, as first-half provisions increased by EUR 24 million.

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