Piraeus Bank, Greece’s largest lender by assets, is close to clinching a deal to sell 400 million euros of soured, unsecured consumer loans as part of efforts to shrink its bad-debt load, bankers close to the deal told Reuters.
The project, dubbed Arctos, involves a pool of about 220,000 nonperforming credit card and consumer loans with a gross book value of 400 million euros on the bank’s books.
Nearly half of the loans are in the 1,000-5,000 euro range.
“Negotiations are in the final phase with three short-listed buyers – APS Holdings, Intrum and EOS,” one of the bankers said, declining to be named.
Banks have agreed with regulators to reduce their mountain of nonperforming credit to 64.6 billion euros by the end of 2019.
Piraeus, saddled with 30.8 billion euros of these bad loans, is working on shrinking its stock of soured debt by 34 percent to 20.3 billion euros by the end of next year.
One of the potential buyers, Swedish credit management company Intrum, was involved in a similar deal last year, acquiring a pool of unsecured, nonperforming consumer loans from Greek lender Eurobank.
The price tag on that deal was about 3 percent of the face value of the loans.
“The range of offers to buy the Arctos portfolio is expected around 4.5 to 5.5 percent of the principal of the loans,” the other banker said.
“The deal will be capital accretive for Piraeus.”
That would mean the bank will likely chalk up some profit on the deal.