Insider Business Small banks in Cyprus are getting transformed

Small banks in Cyprus are getting transformed

Non-systemic small banks in Cyprus seem to be growing through acquisitions and gaining bigger market displacement. And with the possible acquisition of National Bank of Cyprus by Astrobank – a deal which is almost done – the island’s banking landscape will once again be transformed.

As a matter of fact, if agreement is reached on this deal then the next strategic move by the largest bank which is Astrobank is the listing of its shares on the Cyprus Stock Exchange.  The management’s target is for the listing to take place in 2020. At the same time, Greek subsidiaries in Cyprus are on the decrease due to memorandum commitments that parent groups have to abide by.

After 109 years of autonomous presence in Cyprus, the National Bank of Cyprus (NBG) will substantially be a thing of the past, although it is expected to still maintain one small branch. The exit from Cyprus is part of the Greek group’s restructuring plan following its 2015 recapitalisation.

Previously, and specifically in 2014, Alpha Bank Cyprus took over Emporiki Bank of Cyprus. In 2016, the Lebanese group of Maurice Sehnaoui, along with other investors, took over Piraeus Bank of Cyprus and renamed it renamed as Astrobank. The Greek group of Piraeus Bank still holds a minority stake in the lender.

Indications now are that the management of Astrobank and that of NBG are very close to finalising the deal and announcing details of the transaction. An agreement in principle was reached between Astrobank and NBG last September, but some aspects were still open and had to be completed before the deal is officially sealed.

A leading factor in reaching an agreement seems to be the decision by the NBG to free its balance sheet from almost all non-performing loans in Cyprus estimated at €400 million. This includes secured business and retail loans. The Czech group APS, which also manages Hellenic Bank’s red loans, is the one that took over the red loan portfolio.

The process of selling NBG Cyprus follows the acquisition of USB Bank, about a year ago, and the absorption of its banking operations – including its staff.

 

Read more:

https://in-cyprus.com/astrobank-deal-with-usb-bank-plc-completed/

Top Stories

126 new cases, two deaths announced on Monday

The Health Ministry announced the death of two persons due to COVID-19. This raises the death toll from the virus in Cyprus to 188,...

Where to get antigen rapid tests on Tuesday, 26 January

The Health Ministry announced the following antigen rapid test sites for Tuesday, 26 January 2021:   LIMASSOL Church of Panagia Chrysaifyliotissa, Agia Fyla 08:30-16:30 Church of Panagia Evangelistria,...

Cyprus government aims at gradual lifting of restrictive measures

The Cyprus government aims at the gradual lifting of restrictive measures against the spread of COVID-19 in the context of a concrete plan, with...

Shot flamingo found in Paralimni lake

Birdlife Cyprus announced that a flamingo was found wounded in the Lake of Paralimni. Members managed to save the bird and take it to a...

Epidemiologists agree to include colchicine in treatment protocol

The scientific team of the Health Ministry is ready to include colchicine in the treatment protocol to face COVID-19, Konstantinos Tsioutis, assistant professor of...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...