National Bank of Greece Plans to Issue First Market Bonds in 3 Years

National Bank of Greece has announced plans for a euro covered benchmark, the first Greek bank bond in the public market since 2014, and a crucial step in normalising its funding after years of costly central bank support.

The three-year trade, in conditional pass-through format and likely €500m in size, will follow a series of European investor meetings starting on October 4.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, NatWest Markets and UBS (programme arranger) are organising the roadshow. Commerzbank will be a co-lead manager.

The market has been on the lookout for Greek bank issuance ever since the sovereign sold its first euro benchmark in three years; a €3bn 4.375% Aug 2022 at a 4.625% yield, in late July.

The move emerged just days after Piraeus Bank said it would place a €500m five-year note with three international financial organisations, including the European Investment Bank.

NBG’s bonds are expected to be rated B3 by Moody’s and B by Fitch, the lowest in the covered bond universe. They are however eligible for the ECB’s covered purchase programme, a lead said, up to a 30% limit.

Given those ratings, the notes are expected to appeal to a range of credit and traditional covered bond buyers. The roadshow will continue until Monday, with execution as early as Tuesday.

Source: Reuters