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Piraeus Bank to sell Balkan subsidiaries

Athens-based Piraeus Bank SA aims to off-load its subsidiaries in Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Albania and Ukraine along with some other assets, Reuters reported June 7, citing CEO Christos Megalou.

Megalou told reporters that slimming down by selling assets is a part of its plan to reduce foreign exposures. The bank also has a new strategy to create a "Piraeus Legacy Unit" to house, among other things, loans from its recovery banking unit.

Piraeus is struggling with a large number of bad loans accumulated during Greece's economic recession. The bank took €3.3 billion in common shares and convertible contingent bonds from Hellenic Financial Stability Fund in November 2015, leaving the rescue fund with a 25% stake in Piraeus. It also plans to pay back €2 billion of convertible contingent bonds to the fund by 2020, the report noted.