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Banco Comercial Raises 494 Million Euros in Piraeus Sale

Banco Comercial Portugues SA, Portugal’s biggest non-state-owned bank by assets, raised 494 million euros ($680 million) with the sale of its stake in Greece’s Piraeus Bank SA, freeing capital to repay state aid.

The bank sold 235 million shares at 1.50 euros apiece and 235 million warrants at 60 euro cents in an accelerated placement to institutional investors, the bank said in regulatory filing today.

Banco Comercial bought a stake in Athens-based Piraeus after selling its Greek unit to the bank in June. Selling the shares in Piraeus was part of the remedies imposed by the European Union on Banco Comercial after receiving state aid.

The lender, based in Oporto, Portugal, is scheduled to start repaying the state for the contingent convertible bonds next year. As part of a recapitalization plan, it sold 3 billion euros in hybrid securities to the Portuguese state in 2012.

“This is one of the steps in the road map for CoCos repayment which should now be overcome,” freeing up capital for that purpose, Carlos Peixoto, analyst at Oporto-based Banco BPI, said in a note to clients today.

The bank’s shares rose as much as 5.5 percent in Lisbon trading today to a two-week high of 0.1129 euros. It was at 0.1106 euros as of 10:40 a.m.

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