UPDATE 1-Piraeus Bank share offering price range at 1.0-1.15 euros per share -sources

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ATHENS, April 16 (Reuters) - Piraeus Bank, one of Greece’s four big lenders, will proceed with an equity offering to raise 1.2 to 1.38 billion euros ($1.44-$1.65 billion) via a placement with international investors and a domestic public offering.

People close to the planned transaction told Reuters that books will open on April 21 at a price range of 1.0 to 1.15 euros per share.

Piraeus Bank will issue 1.2 billion new shares and will allocate 85% to the international placement and the remaining 15% to a domestic public offering, the sources said.

The bank, 61.3% owned by Greece’s bank rescue fund, the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF), has said the offering of new shares will dilute the HFSF’s stake to a minority holding without any blocking power, meaning below 33%.

Existing shareholders have waived their rights to take part.

Both the international placement with institutional investors via book-building and the domestic public offering will take place simultaneously.

Based on the book-building price range, the new shares will be issued at a price-to-book ratio of 0.26 to 0.29.

Chief Executive Christos Megalou told shareholders earlier this month that the plan would help Piraeus Bank cut the ratio of bad loans within its overall debt portfolio and get it to a single-digit ratio.

$1 = 0.8348 euros Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; editing by James Mackenzie and Nick Zieminski