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Economy

Greece’s Bank Bailout Fund Looks to Sell 27% Stake in Piraeus Bank

February 22, 2024

ATHENS – One of Greece’s Big Four banks, Piraeus Bank, is poised to witness the country’s bank bailout fund selling off its entire 27% stake in early March, as the financial institutions have returned to profitability.

A source familiar with the process, who chose not to be identified, informed Reuters that the sale is imminent and would mark the fourth such sale since October 2023 by the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF), established to recapitalize Greek banks during the country’s decade-long financial crisis from 2008 to 2018.

“There is strong interest from many foreign investors,” a second source knowledgeable about the matter informed Reuters. The banks received €50 billion ($54.25 billion) to stay afloat after being inundated with bad loans. Piraeus, Greece’s third-largest lender, has a market value of €4.9 billion ($5.3 billion), indicating that the state-controlled HFSF could sell its stake for over a billion euros.

The fund previously sold a 20% stake in the National Bank of Greece, 9.4% in Alpha Bank, and a smaller stake in Eurobank, the country’s other largest banks that have divested bad loans and are once again attracting deposits and generating profits.

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