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Paulson hedge fund discloses Greek stakes

A fund run by billionaire investor John Paulson has acquired minority stakes in a bank and a water company in Greece, adding to evidence the country was attracting international investors back after a deep six-year slump.

Greece’s fourth-largest lender, Alpha Bank, said in a statement Paulson & Co Inc had disclosed a 5.4 percent stake in the bank, without giving further details.

Alpha was bailed out by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund last year alongside Greece’s other three major lenders.

A stake of 5.4 percent stake in Alpha was worth 407 million euros on the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon data.

Paulson, whose moves have been watched closely ever since he earned billions by betting against subprime mortgages, said in October he had acquired Alpha shares but had not said how many.

Under Greek law, listed firms must reveal all stakes above 5 percent.

Greece’s biggest water utility, Athens Water (EYDAP), separately said in a bourse filing that Paulson’s fund held a 10 percent stake, worth 99 million euros.

The fund took the stake last week.

Greece’s government, banks and some companies have raised about 11 billion euros between them through a string of oversubscribed bond sales and share capital increases in the last six weeks.

Other funds, which have recently invested in Greece at rock-bottom prices include US hedge fund Third Point and Canada’s Fairfax.

[Reuters]

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