Interest expressed in Egyptian arm of Piraeus Bank

The sale of the Egyptian arm of Greece’s Piraeus Bank, valued at over $200 million, has attracted five potential bidders from the Middle East and North Africa region, two sources told Reuters on Thursday.

Talks are actively ongoing but a sale was not regarded as imminent, one of the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the negotiations are private.

Piraeus, Greece’s fourth-largest lender, has been looking to offload the business to help raise cash as it grapples with the country’s sovereign debt-fuelled economic crisis.

Talks to sell the unit to Standard Chartered failed in November after the London-listed lender withdrew its interest, citing a worsening economic climate in crisis-hit Egypt.