The legal basis for Covered Bond issues is art. 91 of Law 3601/2007, as in force (the Covered Bonds Law). Pursuant to this Law, secondary legislation has been enacted to set out the regulatory framework with respect to the issuance of covered bonds, notably Bank of Greece Act nr. 2620/28.8.2009 (the Secondary Legislation). The Covered Bond Law supersedes general provisions of law contained in the Civil Code, the Code of Civil Procedure and the Bankruptcy Code. The Greek Covered Bonds laws and regulations have been enacted, with a view, inter alia, to complying with the standards of article 22(4) of Directive 85/611/EEC (UCITS).
National Bank of Greece S.A.'s (the Issuer) €15 billion Covered Bond Programme II was established in 2010. The maximum aggregate nominal amount of all Covered Bonds from time to time outstanding under the Programme will not exceed €15 billion. The payment of all amounts due in respect of the Covered Bonds will constitute direct and unconditional obligations of the Issuer, having recourse to assets forming part of the cover pool (the Cover Pool).
On 15th of May 2015, NBG proceeded with structural amendments in order to comply with recent developments and guidelines in the covered bond market (incl. CBPP3 requirements). The amendments include: implementation of a Conditional Pass-Through (CPT) structure, introduction of a minimum 25% overcollaterallization requirement, introduction of stricter eligibility criteria for the cover pool assets and an increase of the liquidity reserve to 12 months of interest payments.
On October 2017, on the back of a comprehensive 4-day roadshow, NBG completed the first Greek covered bond transaction since 2009 and the first capital markets transaction for a Greek Bank since 2014, pricing a 3-year 750 million conditional pass through covered bond at 2.90% yield, issued under 15 billion Covered Bond Programme II. The covered bond attracted a diverse pool of interest amounting to around €2bn from more than 110 institutional investors. The vast majority of interest came from international investors (85%).
On 6th of July 2018, S&P rated NBG's 15 billion Covered Bond Programme II at BBB-. The covered bonds issued under the programme became the first investment grade bonds issued by Greece's financial sector since 2011. The covered bonds also achieved ECB Main Refinancing Operations eligibility (Link to S&P New Issue Report).On July 2018, NBG proceeded with limited amendments in order to facilitate the rating of the Programme by S&P and to further clarify structural points.
On 30th of July 2018, NBG completed a private placement of an initial amount of 100mln covered bonds with the European Investment Bank.
NBG has received the 2018 EMEA Structured Finance Deal of the Year by the Banker Magazine for its October 2017 issuance by the Banker magazine and the Editor's Choice Award by Covered Bond Report's Awards for Excellence.
Covered Bond Programme Ratings
|Rating Agency||Rating||Last Evaluation Date|
|Fitch (Link)||BBB- (Stable)||18/10/2018|