ECONOMY

Piraeus is absorbing ATEbank

Piraeus Bank is set to absorb the so-called healthy section of Agricultural Bank of Greece SA, known as ATEbank, as it was the only lender to table a binding bid for the state-owned lender, the Bank of Greece announced on Friday.

As a result, it appears the restructuring of the country?s banking sector will start off with the revoking of ATEbank?s license and the transfer of its deposits and its healthy loan portfolio to Piraeus. The transfer includes the branch of networks, all deposits — estimated at 15 billion euros — and the employees in the bank and the transferred subsidiaries, numbering around 5,700 people.

Eurobank EFG had also expressed an initial interest in ATEbank but apparently ultimately decided not to pursue it. The central bank commented that ?the solution given is based on the need for securing deposits and the general credit stability.?

As of Monday the whole of the ATEbank branch network will operate under the Piraeus system, while retaining the brand name of ATEbank, and all client transactions will continue as normal, without any changes.