Greece to sell entire stake in Piraeus Bank in early March, sources say

GREECE’S financial institution bailout fund is more likely to promote its whole 27 per cent stake in Piraeus Bank in early March, two sources near the method mentioned on Thursday (Feb 22), the fourth such sale within the nation’s banking sector since October.

The state managed Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF) was set as much as recapitalise Greek banks throughout the nation’s decade-long disaster from 2008-2018.

“We are heading for a 27 per cent stake sale…early March,” one of many sources informed Reuters on Thursday, referring to Piraeus.

The sale of the HFSF stake in Piraeus Bank would be the newest in a collection of comparable divestments throughout Greece’s 4 largest lenders, reflecting the progress the banking sector has made for the reason that monetary disaster ended.

Piraeus has a market worth of 4.9 billion euros (S$7.12 billion), which implies HFSF may promote its stake for greater than 1 billion euros.

“The initial thought was a sale of up to 22 per cent but after the strong interest from foreign investors the most likely scenario is 27 per cent,” a second supply mentioned, including that almost all could be supplied to institutional traders and a smaller half to retail traders.

The financial institution mentioned final week that it expects income to leap within the coming years, with its shares up 20 per cent for the reason that starting of January.

Shares in Greece’s broader banking sector as measured by the FTSE/Athex Banks index have gained about 16 per cent for the reason that begin of the yr after a 67 per cent leap in 2023, benefiting from robust financial progress and the nation’s latest improve to an funding grade credit standing.

Greek lenders lower their dangerous mortgage ratios to under 7 per cent in 2023 from 45 per cent in 2016 and hope to distribute a dividend for the primary time after 13 years.

Having injected about 50 billion euros into the sector, HFSF started lowering its holdings final autumn. It offered a 20 per cent stake in National Bank (NBG) and 9.4 per cent of Alpha Bank in November and a smaller stake in Eurobank in October. REUTERS