Piraeus Bank Up for Grabs: Public Offering Launched for Potential Full Privatisation

piraeus bank

The Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF) launched a public offering on Monday to sell up to 22% of its stake in Piraeus Bank, representing approximately 275 million existing shares. The offering began at 10:00 AM and will close at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, March 6.

HFSF may increase the offering to its entire 27% stake (approximately 337 million shares) at its discretion. According to sources, the offering was significantly oversubscribed within minutes, prompting HFSF to target full privatization of Piraeus Bank.

Key Dates:

  • March 4, 2024: Public offering and international book building begin (10:00 AM Greece Time)
  • March 4-6, 2024: HFSF may adjust the offering size, price range, or price guidance.
  • March 6, 2024: Public offering and book building close (4:00 PM Greece Time)
  • March 7, 2024: Pricing statement and detailed offering results are published.
  • March 11, 2024: Shares are credited to investor accounts (expected settlement date).

"Demand is very strong and the offering has been oversubscribed in a few minutes after the books opened," one of the sources said adding that up to 25% will be offered to institution investors and a 2% to retail investors.

A second source confirmed the oversubscription.

The interest in the sale, which was announced yesterday, is a positive sign for the Greek economy following a decade-long debt crisis that saw the Mediterranean country nearly fall out of the euro before it received three international bailouts.

The initial price range was set between €3.7 and €4 per share, and the sale will be concluded by March 6, the state-controlled bank bailout fund, known as HFSF, said in a statement last night.

Piraeus Bank has a market capitalisation of €4.9 billion euros. Its shares were up 3.26% today.

"The majority of the bids from investors are in the upper part of the price range," the first source said.

After injecting about €50 billion to prop up Greece's four largest banks in return for shares during the debt crisis, which ended in 2018, HFSF started divesting its stakes last year.

It divested its Eurobank and Alpha Bank holdings and sold part of its stake in National Bank in autumn.

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