Greece has unveiled its intention to sell a 20% stake in the National Bank of Greece (NBG), marking a significant move in its ongoing efforts to divest from the country’s banking sector.
This announcement comes on the heels of the successful sale of a 9% stake in Alpha Bank to UniCredit, reinforcing Greece’s commitment to streamlining its financial holdings.
The sale of NBG shares will be carried out through a combination of public offering and private placement from November 14th to 16th, with the per-share price range set between 5 and 5.44 euros.
The Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF), a state-controlled entity established to support troubled banks during the financial crisis, disclosed these details in a recent statement.
HFSF initially acquired stakes in Greece’s largest banks, injecting approximately 50 billion euros into their capital during the height of the country’s financial turmoil.
Currently, the fund holds a 40.4% stake in NBG and a 27% stake in Piraeus Bank, which is the third-largest lender in Greece.
As of Monday, NBG’s shares traded at 5.39 euros, showing a slight decline of about 1%. The 20% stake up for sale is estimated to be valued at approximately one billion euros ($1.07 billion).
In a bid to ensure broad participation, the sale structure entails offering 17% of the stake to institutional investors, while 3% will be available to retail investors.
There is a possibility of increasing the stake to be offered to 22% if strong demand materializes, according to an official familiar with the process.
Earlier on the same day, HFSF successfully concluded the sale of its 9% stake in Alpha Bank to UniCredit for a sum of 293.5 million euros, following an improved bid from the Italian bank.
Greece’s economy has been on a recovery trajectory, attracting substantial investments, and this progress led S&P Global to upgrade the country’s credit rating to investment grade in October.
These strategic divestments align with Greece’s broader economic goals and contribute to the ongoing stabilization of its financial sector.