UPDATE 1-Greece's NBG launches 5-year bond to raise up to 750 mln euros

Thu Apr 24, 2014 4:36am EDT

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ATHENS, April 24 (Reuters) - Greece's largest bank National Bank (NBG) will issue a 5-year, fixed-rate bond to raise up to 750 million euros ($1.04 billion) and boost its liquidity, the bank said in a stock market filing on Thursday.

NBG aims to price the senior unsecured bond at a lower yield than Greece, which broke a four-year exile from debt markets earlier this month with a five-year bond that was snapped up by investors and priced to yield 4.95 percent.

"We expect the issue to be placed successfully, there is strong international interest," an NBG official said, declining to be named.

The bank is testing investor interest for the bond at a yield of mid to high 4 percent, according to a banker involved in the transaction.

The bank said order books would open on Thursday, with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs , HSBC and Morgan Stanley the coordinators for the issue.

NBG's peer Piraeus Bank last month sold the first senior unsecured bond from the country since 2009. The three-year 500 million euro issue attracted over 3.0 billion euros of demand and had a yield of 5.125 percent.

NBG is also set to become the fourth Greek lender to tap international markets through a share offering, planning to raise up to 2.5 billion euros to boost its core capital. ($1 = 0.7231 Euros) (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos and Lefteris Papadimas. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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