The short sellers in America were already pounding on the National Bank of Greece S.A. (NYSE: NBG). Just on Wednesday we pointed out that the troubled Greek bank’s American depositary receipts (ADRs) in New York trading were the third largest short sale increase in terms of percentage. Now shares are getting destroyed all over again on reports that Greece may consider lifting or loosening up a ban on the short selling of the nation’s banks.
To show just how bad this is, NBG’s New York ADRs are down more than 25% in active premarket trading. The last quote we saw was down 26.5% at $3.00 to what is yet another new 52-week low. The prior 52-week lows are recent as well but that old 52-week trading range was $4.05 to $32.50.
NBG already has been weak due to its woes of having Turkish banking operations. Then there was the issue of a possible government breakdown in Greece, as well Greece not raising enough capital in its assets sales to be compliant with the prior bailout rules. One other issue was driving the train as well, a recapitalization that diluted NBG holders and a reverse stock split. Lastly, Thursday is the start of warrants trading for NBG on the Athens Stock Exchange, with the total number of warrants coming to 245,779,626.
All of these issues are too much for most investors to handle. Apparently that is true for NBG holders as well. Short sellers are cleaning house here. If this continues, National Bank of Greece will be the National Bank of Grease.