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Greece's Alpha Bank Is Said to Prepare $4 Billion Bad-Loan Sales

Greece's Alpha Bank Is Said to Prepare $4 Billion Bad-Loan Sales

Greece’s New-Found Stability Put to Test With Tsipras on Brink

Greek lender Alpha Bank is preparing two non-performing loan sales that could remove as much as 3.5 billion euros ($4 billion) of bad debt from its balance sheet, according to two people familiar with the plans.

One of the portfolios, dubbed Neptune, comprises 1.5 billion euros of loans secured against assets of small and medium-sized enterprises, the people said, asking not to be named because the plans aren’t public. The bank is considering securitizing the debt but may also sell the loans outright, one of the people said.

The second package, known internally as Orion, amounts to 2 billion euros of securitized residential mortgages, the people said. Both the transactions are likely to be offered in the second half of 2019, they said.

An external spokesman for Alpha Bank in London declined to comment on the plans.

Decisions on timing and how to structure the deals depend on the outcome of Greek government proposals to facilitate the disposal of soured debt. The bank is also waiting for clarity on plans to reform personal bankruptcy legislation, according to the people.

Greek banks are grappling with 88.6 billion euros of bad loans, a legacy of the country’s financial crisis. The government is seeking to make it easier for banks to sell on the exposures with proposed measures including guarantees on the safest tranches of debt.