Greece’s biggest lender National Bank (NBG) plans to shed its private equity business to boost its capital, three banking sources said on Wednesday.
A sale of the London-based NBGI arm would form part of a restructuring plan that National is following under the terms of its rescue by Greece’s creditors, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
NBG is one of four top Greek banks bailed out by the EU and the IMF, who set aside up to 50 billion euros ($68 billion) to clean up the banking sector after its battering by Greece’s sovereign debt crisis.
All four lenders have cut jobs, sold non-core assets and raised private capital to comply with bailout terms.
“NBG is continuing its restructuring plan, and selling NBGI is part of that,” a senior banking source told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
A spokesman for the bank declined to comment. Two other banking sources confirmed NBG was planning the sale, adding that it wasn’t imminent and would only come at the right price. “NBG is not in a hurry, any sale would have to be capital-accretive,” one source said.
According to its website, NBGI is a private equity and venture capital investment firm currently managing about 900 million euros worth of assets in different funds.
It recently co-managed two NBG-related property deals with a combined value of $1.4 billion. ($1 = 0.7329 euros)
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Writing by Harry Papachristou; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)