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Piraeus Bank Group is one of the most dynamic and active financial organizations in Southeastern Europe with headquarters in Athens, Greece. Founded in 1916, Piraeus Bank went through a period of state-ownership and management (1975-1991) before it was privatized in December 1991. Since then, it has continuously grown in size and activities.
Along with its organic growth, Piraeus Bank made a series of strategic moves with the goal of establishing a strong presence in the domestic market. Thus, in 1998, the Bank absorbed the activities of Chase Manhattan in Greece, took over controlling interest in Macedonia-Thrace Bank and acquired the specialized bank Credit Lyonnais Hellas. At the beginning of 1999, the Bank acquired Xiosbank and absorbed the activities of National Westminster Bank Plc in Greece. In June 2000, the Bank unified its three commercial banks in Greece (Piraeus Bank, Macedonia-Thrace Bank and Xiosbank), creating one of the three largest private sector banks in Greece.
In early 2002, Piraeus Bank acquired the Hellenic Industrial Development Bank (ETBAbank). ETBAbank was absorbed by Piraeus Bank in December 2003. Also, at the beginning of 2002, a strategic alliance agreement for the Greek market was signed between Piraeus Bank Group and ING Group, focused in the field of bancassurance, which was renewed for 10 more years in October 2007.
In early 2005, Piraeus Bank Group, implementing its strategy for expansion in Southeastern Europe and Eastern Mediterranean markets, acquired the Bulgarian Eurobank (renamed into Piraeus Bank Bulgaria), strengthening its presence in Bulgaria, while the merger of Piraeus Bank branches in Bulgaria with Eurobank was completed in March 2006. Furthermore, in 2005, it entered into the Serbian market by acquiring Atlas Bank (renamed into Piraeus Bank Beograd), and into Egyptian market by acquiring Egyptian Commercial Bank (renamed into Piraeus Bank Egypt). Finally, in 2007, Piraeus Group expanded its international presence in Ukraine by acquiring the International Commerce Bank (renamed into Piraeus Bank ICB) and in Cyprus (Piraeus Bank Cyprus) by getting the approval to operate a banking institution and by the acquisition of the Arab Bank Cypriot network.
At the end of July 2012, Piraeus Bank acquired the "healthy" part of Agricultural Bank (selected assets and liabilities) gaining a leading position in the banking operations in Greece. Three months later, the Bank signed an agreement with Societe Generale for the acquisition of SocGen’s total stake (99%) in Geniki Bank. In March 2013, Piraeus Bank acquired the Greek banking operations of Bank of Cyprus, Cyprus Popular Bank and Hellenic Bank. In April 2013, Piraeus Bank agreed to acquire Millennium Bank Greece while the transaction was finalized in June 2013. These transactions comprise important steps towards the restructuring of the Greek banking system, in which Piraeus Bank has participated from the very beginning as a core pillar.
In June 2013, the Bank was recapitalized following PSI implementation, achieving the highest private participation among the Greek systemic banks, in both absolute and relative terms. In addition in April 2014, Piraeus Bank successfully completed a €1.75 bn capital increase. The new shares were offered to institutional and other special investors internationally and to investors in Greece, both displaying great response, demonstrating their trust towards the prospects of Piraeus Bank and the Greek economy. The Group’s Total Capital Adequacy ratio according to Basel III amounted to 12.5%, while its Common Equity Tier I ratio was 11.2% at the end of December 2014.
Today, Piraeus Bank has successfully completed the integration of all the aforementioned 2012-2013 banking operations in its systems offering to all its customers a unique banking experience.