Sale of 10 pct stake in OTE due to end today

Greece’s sale of a 10 percent stake in telecoms group OTE to institutional investors via a placement began late on Tuesday, the country’s finance minister said yesterday. The government is looking to raise around 850 million euros ($1.06 billion), with Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley hired for the sale, joined by four local banks – Alpha Bank, EFG Eurobank, National Bank and Piraeus Bank. Merrill Lynch is also acting as the sole settlement agent. «Following a decision by the interministerial committe on privatizations, the sale of 10 percent in OTE began Tuesday evening,» Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis told reporters yesterday. «Procedures started in New York yesterday and in London today.» The shares will be sold for between 16.90 and 17.26 euros, Finance Ministry officials have said. The government currently holds a 48.6 percent stake in OTE. «The book building began today and will close on Thursday. Our goal is to raise about 850 million euros, which will be used to pay down public debt,» Alogoskoufis said.