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Piraeus Bank prepares to sell €800M in toxic shipping, business loan portfolios

Piraeus Bank SA is preparing to put two new debt portfolios worth a combined €800 million on the market as part of its ongoing push to rid itself of toxic loans, CEO Christos Megalou told analysts during a call for the bank's first-half earnings.

The two portfolios are the €400 million Project Iris, comprising unsecured consumer and small business loans, and the €400 million Project Nemo, which is made up of secured shipping loans, Megalou said.

These are expected to come to market in the second half of 2018 and the first half of 2019 respectively, he added.

The second quarter saw the bank, which has the largest nonperforming loan burden of all the Greek lenders, agree the sale of a €1.45 billion portfolio of nonperforming loans, dubbed the Amoeba project, to Bain Capital for €432 million. Piraeus also sold a €400 million portfolio of distressed, unsecured consumer loans, named Project Arctos, to debt investor APS Holdings, in June.

Megalou's comments come as the bank reported a profit of €24 million for the second quarter, compared with €15 million in the first quarter.

Risk-weighted assets in Piraeus's Legacy Unit totaled €19.4 billion at the end of the second quarter, €4.7 billion decrease from the same period a year ago.

Impaired loans in the in the second quarter stood at €149 million, down from €163 million in the first quarter.