Bank of Cyprus last year became shareholder in 10 companies because of standing debts. A most remarkable move was in the fledgling Nicosia Mall in which from creditor the lender has become the main shareholder.
According to the Bank’s 2018 annual report, the Group acquired 51% of the share capital of Nicosia Mall Holdings (NMH) Limited as part of a loan restructuring on September 28, 2017. This is the parent company of a subsidiary group active in the construction and management of the Nicosia Mall.
Ιn addition, the 2018 accounts show that – as part of the acquisition in 2013 of certain enterprises of the now collapsed Laiki Bank – BoC Group now holds 49.9% of CNP Cyprus Insurance Holdings Ltd. This was the parent company of a group of insurance companies in Cyprus and Greece. Bank of Cyprus also holds a stake of 30% of the share capital of Aris Capital Management LLC which was transferred to the Group following the undertaking again of certain Laiki enterprises.
At the same time, BoC still holds a 33.3% stake in Rosequeens Properties SRL which is a Romanian company that owns a shopping mall in Romania. The share was acquired after BoC PCL took part in a public auction as part of a debt settlement of approximately €21 million. BoC also owns 33.3% of Rosequeens Properties Limited.
As part of a loan restructuring process, the Group has also acquired a 15% stake in the share capital of M.S. (Skyra) Vasas Ltd. And it now holds 50% of the share capital of Tsiros (Agios Tychon) Ltdas, again after a loan restructuring. Moreover, the Group acquired a stake of 7,5% in the share capital of D.J. Karapatakis & Sons Limited and Rodhagate Entertainment Ltd which is active in the recreation, tourism, cinema and entertainment sector in Cyprus. Also in 2018, Bank of Cyprus got 45% of Fairways Automotive Holdings.
In addition to becoming a shareholder in companies because of their debt, Bank of Cyprus has also accumulated thousands of properties. Hundreds of real estate companies got on Bank of Cyprus’s balance sheet over the recent years following the lender’s real estate debt swap policy.
By December 31, 2018, the bank had under its full control approximately 200 companies in Cyprus and Romania whose main activity is the purchase and management of real estate.
The Bank’s Property Management Division was set up in early 2016, tasked with the management of real estate acquired through the policy of debt for property swap. The sale of these properties is the goal in a bid to avoid a slower and more costly foreclosure process.