Greek banking shares are on the up as lenders start to trickle back into the black

Hayley Kirton
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Australian Open - Day Five
Three of Greece's big banks closed up today (Source: Getty)

Greek banks have had a good day on the stock exchange in Athens, with three major players all closing up.

Eurobank Ergasias climbed an impressive 5.8 per cent to close at €0.57.

Meanwhile, Piraeus Bank closed up 3.4 per cent at €0.15 and Alpha Bank closed up 3.5 per cent at €1.78.

The upward swings follow on from strong sets of results. Earlier this week, Eurobank announced profits before tax of €79m (£66.6m) for the first six months of 2016, a significant improvement on the €1.8bn loss reported last year.

Piraeus also revealed it had swung back into the black with a pre-tax profit of €1m for its first half of 2016, up from a loss last year of €1.5bn. Alpha Bank, meanwhile, reported profits before tax for the first half of its year of €3.9m. It too made a loss last year of €1.5bn.

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National Bank of Greece, on the other hand, bucked today's share price trend to closed down 2.4 per cent at €0.21. The fall happened even though the lender revealed a half-year profit after tax for the group from continuing operations of €3m earlier this week, a big improvement from the loss of €1.9bn the year before.

It hasn't always been this way for lenders on the Athens exchange. Just last winter, stocks were languishing at record lows as problems with capital rumbled on throughout Greek's financial crisis.