Thursday Jan 29, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
8o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Banks to trim assets, especially abroad, to boost capital bases

By Yiannis Papadoyiannis

The European Commission’s restructuring plans for Greek banks provide for a drastic scaling back of their activities abroad as well as reductions in the number of branches and staff at home.

The plans for banks National (NBG) and Piraeus were given the green light late last month, following those for Alpha in early July and Eurobank in April.

According to the blueprint, National Bank will retain a presence in neighboring Turkey by retaining majority control of Finansbank, but will have to withdraw from all other countries in Southeast Europe. By June 2018 it has to sell its subsidiaries in Albania, Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, South Africa and the branches it operates in Egypt. It will however be allowed to keep some branches in Cyprus, the UK and Malta. As regards Finansbank, it will have to proceed to an increase of at least 20 percent of its existing capital, while NBG has pledged to sell 20 percent of its Finansbank holding. It has also agreed with the Commission that its branch network in Greece will be shrunk to 550 and the number of employees reduced to 10,700 while the loans to deposits ratio will not exceed 115 percent by end-2017.

Piraeus Bank’s restructuring plan provides for a maximum of 870 branches and no more than 15,350 employees by the end of 2017. The plan also includes a drastic cutback in activities abroad. The value of its foreign assets will either have to be reduced to 3.1 billion euros by June 2018 or they will have to be sold altogether except certain combinations (Cyprus-Romania, Cyprus-Bulgaria, or Bulgaria-Albania-Serbia).

The other two big systemic banks, Alpha and Eurobank, have agreed to similar moves. Besides reducing the number of branches and employees, further goals include cuts in the cost of operations and deposits and the sale of subsidiaries such as insurance, real estate and investment arms. The moves are intended to boost their capital bases and limit dependence for liquidity and capital on the state.

Sources say the Bank of Greece has ruled out the idea of one so-called bad bank to take the bad loans of all commercial banks, and each lender will handle its own through special departments they have already created. The government’s planned changes and actions are focused on bankruptcy law, which will help with the restructuring of problematic enterprises.

ekathimerini.com , Monday August 11, 2014 (21:29)  
Finance Ministry says Dijsselbloem visit will kick off debt talks
France says no waiver for Greece, maybe more time to pay debts
Greek banks rebound as gov´t cites inexperience for remarks
Greek bond drop sends yield to 16-month high on debt wrangling
New Greek finance minister to visit UK, France, Italy
Greeces new left-wing Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis will visit three European Union capitals next week to push the government’s agenda for a renegotiated deal on its multi-billion-euro b...
New defense minister to visit Cyprus
Greece's new Defense Minister Panos Kammenos will visit Nicosia following an invitation by his Cypriot counterpart Christoforos Fokaidis, reports said Thursday. It will be Kammenos's first o...
Inside News
SOCCER
PAOK strikes deal with Portugal´s Ricardo Costa
PAOK announced on Tuesday its agreement with Portuguese international defender Ricardo Costa. The Thessaloniki club added that the player is expected on Wednesday to undergo a medical test a...
BASKETBALL
Basket League favorites survive challenges on the road
PAOK consolidated its position in the top three of the Basket League with a triumph at AGO Rethymnou on Saturday, while Olympiakos and Panathinaikos emerged victorious from their tough away ...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
New Democracy’s challenges
There is a good deal of unease in New Democracy, and not just because of the defeat it suffered in Sunday’s polls. That had been expected, despite the optimistic and combatant messages from ...
EDITORIAL
Keep politics out of school
A few years ago the Greek Parliament ratified a law for a complete overhaul of the tertiary education system with a solid majority of 255 votes from 300 MPs. Since then, with the exception o...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. New Greek finance minister to visit UK, France, Italy
2. New defense minister to visit Cyprus
3. Berlin ´less concerned´ about Greek position on Russia after talks
4. Greece says seeking to ´prevent rift´ between EU and Russia
5. Finance Ministry says Dijsselbloem visit will kick off debt talks
6. Patriarch Vartholomaios congratulates Tsipras on election victory
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece wants a debt break, but what about its poorer neighbors?
2. $11 billion wiped from Greek banks on nationalization threat
3. Investors turn on Tsipras’s campaign to end austerity in Greece
4. Varoufakis says Russia row not about sanctions, but proper consultation
5. Schulz warns Tsipras against straying from stance against Russia, ahead of Athens meeting
6. Greek banks rebound as gov't cites inexperience for remarks
Today
This Week
1. Greek Elections 2015 | LIVE
2. SYRIZA heads for historic victory but without majority
3. Greek Elections 2015 | LIVE
4. Greeks fork out nearly 5 pct of their incomes on telecom services
5. Greek Elections 2015: The day after | LIVE
6. Poll shows SYRIZA leading ND by 4 pct
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.