Banking & Finance

Varoufakis Exit May Ultimately Help Greek Banks

The financial media might have the public tricked into believing that Greece’s “no” vote is the end of the euro, but 2015 is a far different year than say 2010. This news might even not be so bad in the long run. If it was the end of the financial world as we know it, then you would almost certainly be seeing a far worse fallout in the financial markets.

While the news is bad for National Bank of Greece S.A. (NYSE: NBG) on the surface, the impact may end up being better than he earlier trading indications might have led many investors to believe. Reports were out on Monday that the bank closure holiday is being extended a few more days. CNBC reported on Monday that an official announcement is coming soon.

A big boost for NBG is that Yanis Varoufakis resigned his post as finance minister. The scenario with Varoufakis out of the way might actually help European leaders and the Greeks in negotiations. The powers that be might even be far less interested in torpedoing Greek banks without Varoufakis in the negotiations. Whether Alexis Tsipras will be forced into any threats of nationalization ahead remains a debate. After all, Syriza and many leftists in Greece still are having internal debates.

Shortly before the open, the NYSE trading indication was NBG Indicated $0.70 to $1.10 (Last $1.13). Shares opened in New York trading at $0.94 and were last seen at $0.99 in active trading. NBG has a 52-week range of $0.88 to $3.82.

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The Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (NYSEMKT: GREK) was last seen down 7.4% at $10.05, but that is versus an opening price of $9.88. That is also better than the lows seen last Tuesday. The Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF has a 52-week range of $9.42 to $23.36.

Investors may not find a classic V-bottom buying opportunity in Greece as of yet. There are still many issues to overcome, and whether Greece exits the euro formally or they are forced out remains to be seen. It may be weeks or even months before Greece is no longer leading the financial and main stream news. This weekend’s vote is simply not really the “no” that many outsiders were expecting.

Varoufakis said in his exit blog post:

Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted ‘partners’, for my… ‘absence’ from its meetings; an idea that the Prime Minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement. For this reason I am leaving the Ministry of Finance today.

I consider it my duty to help Alexis Tsipras exploit, as he sees fit, the capital that the Greek people granted us through yesterday’s referendum.

And I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride.

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Again, if this was all deemed the end of the euro or the end of the system, you would be seeing a far worse reaction in the markets. The real trick here is that a Greek exit of the euro may ultimately be good for everyone in the end. Stay tuned.