National Bank of Greece said to pick advisers for Turkish sale

National Bank of Greece SA has hired banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to sell as much as 40 percent of Turkish unit Finansbank AS in a secondary share offering, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp. are also global coordinators for the share sale, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Greece’s biggest lender may sell its stake in the unit as early as this year, two of the people said.

NBG plans to sell 40 percent of Finansbank by the end of 2015, Deputy Chief Executive Officer Paula Hadjisotiriou said last month. A sale that size may raise about $1.5 billion for the Greek bank, based on Finansbank’s market value. Greece’s lenders, which have raised more than 8.3 billion euros from investors this year, may need more capital to resolve non- performing loans, the International Monetary Fund said in a report in June.

Finansbank contributed 1.1 billion liras ($497 million) to NBG’s 2013 profit, nine percent lower than a year earlier, the bank said on an earnings call in March. NBG acquired Finansbank in 2006.

“We repeat our position that the bank will sell a minority stake, without having decided when, or the process,” said Dimitris Spyropoulos, a spokesman for NBG. A representative for Finansbank did not immediately respond to requests for comment, and spokesmen for Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America declined to comment. [Bloomberg]

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