Greece’s National Bank agrees to sell South African unit


Greece’s second-largest lender National Bank (NBG) agreed to sell its entire 99.8 percent stake in its South Africa Bank of Athens (SABA) subsidiary to AFGRI Holdings as part of an EU-approved restructuring plan, the bank said on Tuesday.

SABA, established in 1947, provides banking services to medium-sized local businesses. AFGRI is an agricultural, financial services and food processing company operating in South Africa and 14 other countries in Africa.

NBG expects the deal to close in the second half of this year, subject to approval by regulatory authorities, increasing its core equity tier 1 ratio by about 5 basis points and its liquidity by about 55 million euros.

Investec Bank acted as NBG’s financial adviser.

National Bank, with units in Serbia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Albania, Romania and Cyprus, plans more foreign asset sales as part of its restructuring. Late last year it sold its United Bulgarian Bank to Belgian bank KBC Group in a 610-million-euro ($645.69 million) deal.

NBG is also looking to sell its National Insurance subsidiary, with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley acting as advisers.