Alpha Bank sells bad debt at 4.5% of value

Alpha Bank, Greece's fourth largest lender, has offloaded 3.7 billion euros of bad loads by selling them to Norway's B2Holding group, according to the Greek company.

The outstanding principal on these loans is 2 billion euros and B2Holding has agreed to pay 90 million euros for this debt, Alpha Bank said in a statement. The sales price amounts to 4.5 percent of the total principal of the non performing loans that is unsecured retail debt.

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The move is seen helping improve Alpha Bank's profitability, capital and liquidity position ahead of upcoming stress tests on Greeks lenders. according to analysts.

Under pressure from European banking regulators, Greek banks have been selling bad loans to private equity funds as a means of getting them off their balance sheets and boosting their capital position. In December. Bad loans held by Greek lenders stood at 95 billion euros.