ECONOMY

Gov’t drafting plan B for TT privatization

The government is preparing an alternative plan for the sale of Hellenic Postbank (TT) in case the binding offers by the bidding banks are not deemed satisfactory. Sources say that the nonbinding offers submitted last Friday were not attractive, while National Bank and Eurobank do not intend to submit any binding offers.

If the bids are found to be unsatisfactory, the control of the healthy part of TT will be passed on to the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF) while the unhealthy part, including Hellenic Postbank’s bad loans, will be liquidated. However, the HFSF control will be temporary as the fund will shortly have to proclaim a new tender for the sale of the 44 percent state-owned lender.

Officials at National Bank, one of the four lenders to have expressed an interest in TT, insisted on Tuesday that it will not table a binding offer as that would delay the major project of its merger with Eurobank Ergasias. For this reason both National and Eurobank have applied for a postponement of the process for TT’s sale.

At the same time another bidder, Alpha Bank, is said to be concerned about staff numbers at TT, as well as its state of operations.