ECONOMY

Portugal’s BCP selling all of its stake in Piraeus Bank

Portuguese banking group Millennium BCP began on Tuesday the sale to institutional investors of its entire stake in Piraeus Group, in an ultra-rapid process that is indicative of the high interest Greek assets are generating.

The package that went on sale concerns 235 million shares amounting to 4.5 percent of the Greek credit group, and an identical share of warrants which would amount to 20.16 percent of Piraeus Bank’s shares when exercised. This means that directly and indirectly a 25 percent stake in the bank is up for grabs.

Analysts estimated that the book would close by early Wednesday morning, when the economic details of the transaction will become known. Bank sector officials say that the Portuguese lender is rushing to capitalize on foreign investors’ interest in the local banking system.

BCP is expected to cash in some 500-600 million euros, meaning it will reap significant capital gains on its placement less than six months ago. BCP paid 400 million euros for its participation in Piraeus’s share capital increase, in the context of its agreement for the acquisition of Millennium Bank by Piraeus.