Greece starts process to sell 20 per cent stake in National Bank


Greece on Monday announced plans to sell a 20 per cent stake in the National Bank of Greece (NBG) after concluding the sale of a 9 per cent stake in Alpha Bank to UniCredit as it looks to divest from the country’s lenders.

The shares in NBG, Greece’s second-largest bank by market value, will be sold via a public offering and a private placement from Nov. 14 to 16 at between 5 and 5.44 euros per share, the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF) said in a statement.

The HFSF, a state-controlled bank bailout fund, acquired stakes in Greece’s biggest lenders in return for injecting about 50 billion euros to recapitalise them during the country’s financial crisis. It currently holds a 40.4 per cent stake in NBG and a 27 per cent stake in Piraeus Bank (BOPr.AT), Greece’s third-largest lender.

NBG’s shares were down about 1 per cent at 5.39 euros at 1012 GMT on Monday, with the 20 per cent stake valued at about one billion euros ($1.07 billion).

“Out of the 20 per cent holding, 17 per cent will be offered to funds and 3 per cent to retail investors. If there is strong demand, then HFSF might increase the stake to be offered to 22 per cent,” an official involved in the process told Reuters.

Earlier on Monday, HFSF said it sold its 9 per cent stake in Alpha Bank (ACBr.AT) to UniCredit for 293.5 million euros after an improved bid from the Italian bank.

Greece has been attracting significant investment as its economy strengthens after the crisis, prompting S&P Global to upgrade the country to investment grade in October.


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