Piraeus Bank grew second quarter net profit as provisions for impaired loans decreased, Greece's largest lender by assets said on Friday.
Piraeus Bank, which is 26.2 percent owned by the country's HFSF bank rescue fund, reported a net profit from continued operations of 20 million euros ($22.29 million) after net earnings of 14 million in the first quarter.
The Greek banking system has radically changed over the past two decades. Mergers and acquisitions had already begun in the late 1980s, but it was two significant events 20 years ago that marked the beginning of a process that has led to the consolidation of the country's banking sector in the dominant "big four" (Alpha Bank, Eurobank, National Bank of Greece and Piraeus Bank).
Moody's said on Tuesday that Piraeus Bank's outlook is positive, reflecting expectations of an improvement in the systemic lender's fundamentals in the next 12 to 18 months, after the completion of its restructuring plan.
In its update to investors, the agency gave Piraeus a Caa2 rating, which reflects the challenge the bank is facing in the reduction of its nonperforming exposures.
Piraeus Bank is looking into a strategic partnership with a major Asian Pacific financial conglomerate that will help it provide financing to Greek shipping companies, Greece's largest lender by assets said on Friday.
Piraeus did not name the Asian partner, nor provide details of what form such a deal would take.
Change in sentiment toward Greek assets and sizable investor interest reminiscent of the pre-crisis era are the takeaways from our discussion with Christos Megalou, Piraeus Bank's chief executive officer. This comes in the aftermath of the bank's access to debt capital markets for a Tier II bond issuance and the numerous investor meetings Megalou hosted in London.
Greek securities are riding the wave of international price rises and domestic expectations after the May 26 European election result that led to the Greek prime minister calling next Sunday's snap poll, with bond yields falling and ATHEX stock prices faring better than most of their European peers.
Piraeus Bank is on Wednesday opening its book for the issue of a Tier II corporate bond, putting off the process from Tuesday due to the particularly high interest by investors that did not allow for the bank to meet with all interested buyers.
The aim of the Greek lender is to raise 300-350 million euros while offering an interest rate of 9-10 percent.