A tender process for a 9-percent stake in Alpha Bank, one of four systemic banks in Greece, has concluded on Friday, with Italy-based UniCredit reportedly the sole candidate for acquiring the share package.

UniCredit has officially expressed an interest in acquiring the ATHEX-listed bank’s stake through a process initiated by the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HSFS), which holds the shares.

HSFS is a memorandum-mandated (2010) independent entity created to maintain and ensure stability in Greece’s banking system, in the wake of the country’s first institutional bailout.

Sources cited French financial adviser Lazard, a consultant in the process, as saying UniCredit was the only candidate. The same sources said HSFS may request an improved offer from the Italian banking group, which previously offered 1.33 euros per share to acquire 9 percent of Alpha Bank.

An official announcement will come on Monday, Nov. 13, before the opening of trading on the Athens Stock Exchange (ATHEX).

In the wake of the Alpha Bank sale process, media reports in Athens also cited the prospect of HSFS putting half of its shares in National Bank of Greece (NBG) on the selling block, or 20 percent of NBG’s total share capital.

One oft-quoted scenario cites a NBG selloff of 15 percent of the credit institution’s shares through an offer book process, with 5 percent floated on ATHEX for acquisition by private investors – and with current shareholders given priority.