Piraeus Bank finances major hotel deal on Crete

ATHENS, June 25 (Reuters) - Piraeus Bank said on Thursday it has financed a deal by property investment companies Henderson Park and Hines to buy five hotels on the island of Crete in southern Greece, a sign of the bank’s commitment to the tourism industry despite coronavirus constraints.

Greece, which emerged from international bailouts in 2018 after a decade-long debt crisis, relies on tourism to keep its economy on a recovery track. More than 30 million visited the country last year, about three times its population.

Greece’s largest lender by assets said the hotels, with more than one thousand rooms, include the Hermes and Coral hotels in Agios Nikolaos, the Santa Marina Resort and Apollonia Resort in Heraklion and the Sitia Beach Resort.

“This is yet another key transaction executed during the COVID-19 period demonstrating our long term commitment to the hospitality sector in Greece despite the current challenges caused by the pandemic,” said Eleni Vrettou, Executive General Manager of corporate and investment banking at Piraeus Bank.

Piraeus Bank is 26%-owned by the country’s HFSF bank rescue fund.

The bank and Henderson Park and Hines did not provide further details regarding the cost of the purchase.

Henderson Park is a European real estate asset management platform focused on acquiring and repositioning real estate assets in several European markets.

Hines is a privately owned global real estate development and asset management firm present in 24 countries, including Greece. (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos. Editing by Jane Merriman)