July 12, 2019 / 11:39 AM / 3 days ago

Greece's Piraeus Bank considers Asian Pacific partner for shipping financing

ATHENS, July 12 (Reuters) - 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.

“This pioneering initiative forms part of Piraeus Bank’s continued commitment to the shipping community, through investment of international capital into existing opportunities and new financing to the shipping industry,” the bank said.

Piraeus, like its Greek peers, is saddled with a high pile of non-performing loans, the legacy of a multi-year debt crisis. Although the country’s banks are making progress in reducing the high load of non-performing credit on their balance sheets, their ability to provide financing is constrained.

Piraeus said its initiative aims to position the bank at the “forefront of servicing Greek shipping clients.”

Houlihan Lokey is acting as Piraeus Bank’s strategic and financial advisor in the sought transaction. (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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