Piraeus Bank share offering oversubscribed, says banking source

Greek lender Piraeus Bank's 1.75 billion euro ($2.41 billion) share offering has been oversubscribed with offers topping 3 billion euros, an official at the bank told Reuters on Wednesday, with the pricing expected later in the day.

Greece's second-largest lender by assets is issuing new shares, without pre-emption rights for existing shareholders, to plug a 425 million euro capital shortfall a stress test by the country's central bank revealed earlier in the month.

In addition, it will buy back 750 million euros of preferred shares from the state.

"Offers topped 3 billion euros,» said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The official declined to comment on the pricing.

Piraeus, with a market value of 10.2 billion euros and majority-owned by Greece's bank rescue fund HFSF, has mandated Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs as joint global coordinators and bookrunners for the share offering.

Piraeus shares were down 6.93 percent at 1155 GMT, underperforming the Athens bourse's banking index which was shedding 1.57 percent.

On Tuesday, peer Alpha Bank priced its 1.2 billion euro share offering at 0.65 euros a share, a 7 percent discount to Monday's closing price. Alpha shares were up 4.3 percent on Wednesday.