Piraeus Bank property auctions miss the mark, 50% passed in
Piraeus Bank, the country's largest lender, managed to sell 29 of the 57 properties it put up for auction last month on its recently launched electronic sales platform.
It was the second batch of properties the lender auctioned off on this platform (properties4sale.gr) as it grapples with non performing loans of more than 20 billion euros.
The bank raised more than 6 million euros from the auctions, it said in a statement Thursday. Piraeus Bank provided finance for 15 of the deals closed.
"More than 270 investors showed interest in participating in the auction, of which 190 were approved," the bank said.
Selling properties on line is a new procedure for Greece and initially introduced by Piraeus Bank. Greek banks have been picking up efforts to offload real estate assets tied to the 100 billion euros of bad loans sitting on their books due to the country's eight year economic downturn.
Banks have indicated that they will hold onto to properties not sold at auctions and that these assets are likely to be then packaged into groups and sold onto investors.
Although the size of Piraeus Bank's latest auction is a drop in the ocean, it is seen as being an important step for the industry.
"While this is a relatively small transaction it is important as it paves the way for a new procedure for the management of owned or repossessed real estate assets which may prove useful in the NPL portfolio cleanup process," said Eurobank Securities in a morning note.
Piraeus Bank will hold the next round of auctions on properties4sale.gr on December 13-14.