Major interest among Greek banks for Cypriot portfolios

There is broader interest among Greek lenders for the acquisition of the portfolios of Cypriot banks in Greece, a government official stated on Sunday, as the board of the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF) was meeting on Sunday evening to take action.

Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras stated on Saturday that the Greek arms of the three main Cypriot banks (Bank of Cyprus, Cyprus Popular Bank and Hellenic Bank) will be immediately absorbed by a Greek lender.

The original planning had been for their absorption to be announced by Monday evening, but the postponement of voting on the measures by the Cypriot Parliament until Monday has complicated things.

It is not clear yet whether the stock market will open in Nicosia on Tuesday and whether the stocks of Bank of Cyprus and Cyprus Popular Bank will trade as normal in the Athens Exchange.

The HFSF board met in Athens chaired by chief executive Anastasia Sakellariou, as chairman Paul i9oKoster is reported to have resigned since last Friday, although the Finance Ministry has not yet confirmed it.

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