BUSINESS

Piraeus Bank to sell assets, tackle NPLs

TAGS: Business, Banking

Piraeus Bank, Greece’s largest lender by assets, aims to sell its Balkan businesses and certain other holdings and shrink its bad loans portfolio, its new chief executive told reporters on Wednesday, outlining the group’s plans up to 2020.

“Our vision is to be the most credible bank in Greece,” said CEO Christos Megalou, who took over in April.

“Our strategy plan makes sense and is not pie in the sky,” Megalou, who was previously CEO of rival Eurobank, said.

“Our goals are demanding but achievable.” Piraeus, which is 26.2 percent owned by Greece’s bank rescue fund HFSF, is still struggling with problem loans after a deep recession in Greece pushed unemployment to record highs.

The bank plans to slim down by selling wholly owned subsidiaries in Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Albania and the Ukraine as part of its “Agenda 2020” plan to reduce its foreign exposures.

The group also plans to divest other holdings, including a 40 percent stake in shipping company Hellenic Seaways and the bank’s 33 percent stakes in fish farms Nireus Aquaculture and Selonda, Megalou said.

[Reuters]

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