Deal for Cypriot bank units in Greece to pass to local lender agreed by leaders

Greece and Cyprus agreed on Friday that a Greek lender should take over Cypriot bank units in Greece.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades’s office issued a statement saying he had communicated with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to confirm that the deal would take place.

The Cypriot Presidency said the agreement would lead to “significant benefits for the Cypriot side.”

The Greek Finance Ministry also confirmed the agreement between the two leaders. Official offers for the Cypriot bank units in Greece are expected.

Hellenic Bank, Bank of Cyprus and Cyprus Popular Bank (Laiki) have about 14 billion euros of deposits and a total loan book of about 23 billion euros.

They will need about 1.5 billion euros in recapitalization funds. It has been reported recently that this cost would be shared between Greece and Cyprus but has not been confirmed.

Piraeus Bank, Alpha Bank, National Bank and Hellenic Postbank have been linked with bids for the three Cypriot bank units in Greece.