(Bloomberg) -- Greece is selling its entire 27% stake in Piraeus Bank, underlining the government’s determination to divest its finance holdings as the economy recovers.

The Hellenic Financial Stability Fund — a bank recapitalization tool established at the start of Greece’s bailout programs — said on Monday it will sell its full stake in the lender. The fund previously said on Sunday that it would sell 22% of the bank, while reserving the right to offload its entire holding. 

Books were fully covered just after they opened on Monday morning, according to terms of the deal seen by Bloomberg. Piraeus shares rose as much as 3.9% on Monday to the highest level since April 2021. 

The price range for the sale has been set at €3.7 to €4 per share, compared with the stock’s closing price of €3.99 on Friday. The deal could fetch as much as €1.35 billion ($1.46 billion) if Greece sells its entire stake at the top end of the price range, according to Bloomberg calculations. The HFSF had already reduced its holding in Piraeus Bank in 2021 to 27% from 61% via a capital increase and is now seeking to make a full exit. 

Greece is accelerating its divestment plan from the country’s lenders. In November the fund exited from Alpha Bank and sold a 22% stake in National Bank of Greece. A month earlier it finalized the sale of its entire stake in Eurobank Ergasias Services and Holdings SA. HFSF has set as its target to sell all of its holding in the Greek lenders by end of 2025. 

Piraeus Bank beat estimates with its 2023 earnings, with net profit of about €800 million. Annual profit is expected to grow to around €1 billion by 2026, the lender said.

Books will open on March 4 at 9 a.m. CET and are expected to close on March 6 at 3 p.m. CET. Details of the results of the sale are scheduled for publication on March 7. The Greek public offering will comprise 15% of the initial share sale, while the rest will be made available to international investors.  

Bank of America Corp. is advising HFSF, while Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and UBS Group AG are also involved in the deal.

--With assistance from Tuhin Kar and Eleni Chrepa.

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