Insider Business AstroBank and Qualco Group in joint venture for management of NPLs

AstroBank and Qualco Group in joint venture for management of NPLs

AstroBank has reached an agreement with Qualco Holdco Limited for the sale to the latter of 74.9% of Trusset Asset Management Limited, a newly formed company, for the joint management of AstroBank’s portfolio of Non-Performing Exposures (NPEs) and Real Estate Owned Assets (REOs).

A recent press release also said that AstroBank will retain 25.1% of the Company. And that as part of purchasing this business from AstroBank, Trusset will employ from the AstroBank, through the TUPE Legislation, 37 employees who have to date been managing the specific portfolio.

In addition, Trusset will purchase from AstroBank all related IT licences, processes, products and the collective expertise and processes of AstroBank for the management of the NPEs and REOs. These portfolios continue to be on AstroBank’s balance sheet.

This transaction, which is part of AstroBank’s strategy to reduce NPEs in line with regulatory requirements, is expected to improve its Capital Adequacy Ratio by approximately one percent, and is subject to a number of conditions including the approval of the Competition Authority in Cyprus.

This joint venture will combine the local knowledge and expertise of AstroBank with Qualco’s significant international capabilities, best practices and systems in Debt Recovery, to expand its current portfolio under management, in order to become a strong player in the Cypriot Market.

Since its establishment 20 years ago, Qualco Group, with headquarters in Athens and offices in the UK, France, Cyprus and Brazil, serves over 70 clients in more than 15 countries.

In Greece it has become the leading independent servicer of non-performing exposures, with more than €10bn of Assets under Management (AuM), an additional €2.2bn in loan administration assets, and around €70bn of non- performing portfolios underwritten and valued. In the UK the Group has more than €10bn of AuMs, for leading financial institutions.

Chairman of Qualco, Orestis Tsakalotos, said: “Our aim is to transfer and utilise the existing knowledge, capabilities and systems into the Cypriot Servicing market via Trusset Asset Management Limited, which will lay the base for the expansion of our servicing arm. We are very pleased that we will be working with AstroBank towards that goal.”

Chairman of the Executive Committee of AstroBank, Constantinos Loizides, said: “We are very excited by the prospect of Qualco’s internationally renowned expertise in Debt Recovery be applied to our NPE and REO portfolios. At the same time, we also very much look forward to working closely with Qualco to further increase this Company’s activities in Cyprus”.

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