Two major Greek lenders to bid for Cypriot branches

Hellenic Postbank seen as an alternative solution By Giorgos Mantelas

Two major Greek private banking groups, as well as state-owned Hellenic Postbank are interested in acquiring the Greek branches of troubled Cypriot banks.

The management of Greece’s systemic banks are in open discussions with the Finance Ministry in the effort to find the suitor who will absorb the branches and portfolios of Bank of Cyprus, Cyprus Popular Bank and Hellenic Bank in Greece.

Sources speak of a strong candidacy by two main Greek lenders, with Hellenic Postbank being the alternative in case negotiations with them do not bear fruit.

The ministry is eager to complete the process as early as possible, even by Tuesday morning, although this appears difficult for several reasons.

At least, the Greek state has guaranteed deposits in Greece-based branches of Cypriot banks, which means that they will open as normal on Tuesday.