Some of the world's strongest institutional portfolios from Europe, the US and Asia are acquiring shares of the National Bank of Greece through a placement completed yesterday, the success of which exceeded even the most optimistic estimates.
Blackrock, Fidelity, Capital, Norges, Norges, Allianz, Wellington, GIC, Romero, IRWS and many other high quality institutional investors are acquiring shares in National Bank, marking the bank's full return to European normality after more than a decade of crisis that had led to the devaluation of domestic bank shares.
It is worth noting that GIC, Singapore's $770 billion sovereign wealth fund under management, is considered one of the world's most important quality investors and is renowned for the very strict criteria by which it implements its investments around the world.
At the same time, well-known shipowners, industrialists and businessmen participated in the placement, restoring the bank's traditional strong relationship with the domestic business community, including at the equity level, a relationship that had been disrupted by the crisis and recapitalisations.
The public offer of 20% + 2% of National Bank shares by the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF), shares worth over EUR 1 billion, was oversubscribed 8 times while the offer price of the shares was set at EUR 5.3, close to the maximum range set by the Fund (EUR 5 to EUR 5.44). In total, offers worth EUR 8.5 billion were received.
It is noted that the offer price could have been set at a higher level, but the HFSF and the government asked the consultants to give weight to the quality of the investors.
As regards the domestic retail investor segment of the offer, the overcapacity was 1,5 % as bids of around EUR 450 million were received compared to the EUR 300 million requested by the HFSF.
A meeting of the HFSF Board of Directors was held late yesterday afternoon to finalise the placement. Early this morning before the Athens Stock Exchange session starts, the details of the public offer will be announced.
Trading of the shares made available through the placement will start next Tuesday, November 21.
The bank's profitability is improving
A strong lure for investors was the high profitability of NBG and the extremely attractive growth story of the domestic economy, which is expected to achieve significantly higher growth rates than most European economies.
According to the Prospectus, the bank's management estimates net profit of EUR1 billion per annum for the 3-year period 2023 - 2025 and has committed (subject to regulatory approvals) to distribute a dividend of around 30% of earnings per annum.
The successful completion of the Alpha - UniCredit strategic deal is also believed to have boosted the allocation of ETE shares as it helped put Greek banking assets on the radar of more investors.