Hellenic Industrial Bank (ETBA) was outperforming the Athens bourse on expectations it will soon sell its majority stake in Skaramanga shipyards
, analysts said. ETBA, which owns 51 percent of Hellenic Shipyards Skaramanga
, said it would start negotiations with German shipyard HDW Werft, which was the highest bidder in the privatization of the shipyard.
ETBA shares were up 3.81 percent to 6.00 euros at 1102 GMT, outperforming the Athens bourse's benchmark general index, which was down 0.92 percent, and the banking sector index which was down 1.45 percent. "Procedures concerning Skaramanga are being sped up, and this could accelerate the privatization of ETBA Bank as well," said Costas Vergos, analyst at Magna Trust Securities.
Greece, which currently holds a 65.5 percent stake in ETBA, has received two non-binding bids from Agricultural Bank and Piraeus Bank for up to 60 percent of the bank.
"The fact that the privatization of the shipyards is progressing shows that procedures are on the right path," said Panagiotis Sinodinos, analyst at Sarros Securities. The sale of a majority stake in Hellenic Shipyards of Skaramanga is one of 10 privatizations Greece's development ministry has planned for 2001. - (Reuters)