Insider Business Thousands of Co-op bank properties could be sold

Thousands of Co-op bank properties could be sold

Twenty five government services and ministries which are now in premises rented by the state want to move into real estate belonging to collapsed Cyprus Co-operative Bank.

Relevant requests have already been submitted and are under review by a special committee to ensure that the Co-op properties do meet required standards. The decision on the properties to be used by government services is expected to be taken between September and October.

But before that, Hellenic Bank which has taken over Co-op bank’s good part will have to decide whether to keep the 103 properties that were transferred to it under the agreement.

The Council of Ministers last month decided that government services should use four properties and another 305 should be acquired so that they are allocated to 167 communities island-wide. Local authorities have already been informed of the allocated properties.

This will be in the form of a lease for a period of 20 years with the prospect of renewal for another 20 years against a symbolic fee of 0.3% of the estimated value of the property. Municipalities and communities will be able to rent out these properties at market value to businesses.

Meanwhile, the House Commerce Committee was told yesterday by Finance Ministry representative Dionysis Dionysiou that 2,208 or 70% of the total Co-op bank properties were taken against debt of borrowers. He also  explained that these properties were excluded from the imposed freezing of Co-op real estate sale.

In addition, the Ministry representative expressed disagreement with Diko MP Zacharia Koulia’s proposed bill which prohibits the concession, leasing, exchange or alienation of any immovable property belonging to Co-op bank.

This, amongst others, would overturn the Cabinet decision on the provision of Co-op properties to local authorities, Dionysiou said.


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