Greece has been a popular location for value investors over the past couple of years. Dan Loeb, Seth Klarman are among famous investors who have bet big on Greece (we have an exclusive on Baupost out tomorrow, sign up for our newsletter to ensure you do not miss it). David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital Re, Ltd. (NASDAQ:GLRE) appears to have joined club. According to new information posted on Greenlight Capital RE’s website, Alpha Bank A.E. (ADR) (OTCMKTS:ALBKY) is now one of David Einhorn’s top five largest positions.
The position is not new for Greenlight Capital. David Einhorn announced the position in Q213 stating:
Despite mostly reducing the portfolio, we added medium-sized long positions in ING U.S. (VOYA) and two Greek banks that were recapitalized: Alpha Bank A.E. (ALPHA GA) and Piraeus Bank S.A. (TPEIR GA).
However, the news is, that position is now among the top 5 holdings and could be over a $1 billion stake, if it is a bigger investment than David Einhorn’s holding in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). In any case the holding should be worth a few hundred million based on back of the envelope math. A request for comment from both Greenlight RE and Greenlight Capital was not immediately returned.
According to Google finance:
Alpha Bank SA is a Greece-based banking institution. It has six business segments: Retail Banking, Corporate Banking, Asset Management and Insurance, Investment Banking and Treasury, South Eastern Europe, and Other. The Retail Banking sector offers all types of deposit products, loan facilities and debit and credit cards. The Corporate Banking sector offers working capital facilities, corporate loans, letters of guarantee, as well as leasing products and factoring services. The Asset Management and Insurance sector consists of a range of asset management services, as well as commissions received from the sale of a range of insurance products to individuals and companies. The Investment Banking and Treasury sector includes stock exchange, advisory and brokerage services relating to capital markets, investment banking facilities, as well as activities of the Dealing Room in the interbank market. On December 8, 2013, it acquired the deposits of three Cooperative Banks.
Alpha recently acquired Emporiki- c.75% of the deposit base of Emporiki has been
repriced to Alpha levels. Another 25% would be repriced over the next 1-2 quarters. Management highlighted that they were willing to let pricy deposits go.
Alpha’s provision/loan ratio (for Greek book) stood at 17.6% which compares to
22.8% for Alpha-Emporiki combined entity under 3yr adverse scenario suggesting Alpha’s recap was done at conservative levels, according to a recent research report from JP Morgan.
Below is a quick valuation snapshot from a recent note authored by Florent Nitu of citigroup.
For the month, David Einhorn’s GLRE was up 0.7%, compared to a small loss in January. For the year GLRE is down 0.8%.
Net Quarterly Returns:
According to the GLRE website:
As of 28-February-2014, the largest disclosed long positions in our investment portfolio are Alpha Bank A.E., Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), gold, Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:MRVL), Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) and Oil States International, Inc. (NYSE:OIS) ; our investment portfolio is approximately 118% long and 71% short. All exposure information is calculated on a delta adjusted basis and excludes credit default swaps, interest rate swaps, sovereign debt, currencies, commodities, and derivatives on any of these instruments.