Insider Business State guarantees, NPL management framework to go to plenary

State guarantees, NPL management framework to go to plenary


Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said on Wednesday that state guarantees for CCB assets being acquired by Hellenic will be submitted to parliament together with bills aimed at improving the framework for NPLs.

The aim is for them to be put to the vote in the plenary the following Friday.

The minister told the House Finance Committee that he had asked House President Demetris Syllouris — in his capacity as acting president in view of the absence of President Nicos Anastasiades abroad — to convene an extraordinary meeting of cabinet to approve these bills. Cabinet — which on Tuesday approved the state guarantees that are integral to the CCB-Hellenic deal — is expected to convene on Thursday.

The state guarantees — part of an asset protection scheme — cover unexpected losses to NPLs of €500 m and performing loans of €2.1b being transferred from the CCB to Hellenic under  their agreement.  Georgiades said the move was essential to avert risks.

He said the initial plan had been to privatise the CCB in stages over two years, but pressure had made the need for immediate action urgent.

He said the ESTIA scheme that aims to protect the primary homes of vulnerable groups was ready, would be approved by cabinet and sent to the European Commission for vetting as regards state aid.

Georgiades added that the changes in the legal framework were needed urgently as they were a precondition for the effective management by the state of €8.3b in assets it will be acquiring from the CCB.

The European Commission has given the government three months to prepare a business plan for its asset management agency.

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