ECONOMY

All four major banks table bids for TT

All four major banks delivered their offers on Tuesday to the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF) for the acquisition of state-owned Hellenic Postbank (TT).

There were reports that the fund’s managing director, Anastasia Sakellariou, asked for the TT transfer process to be canceled, but the General Council of the HFSF rejected her request. A report that Sakellariou threatened to resign was later strenuously refuted.

As a result, the procedure to select the best bid is proceeding unhindered and the fund’s governing board is set to convene on Friday to assess the offers and proceed to the selection of the preferred bidder. Negotiations will follow with the chosen suitor so that by Sunday, July 14, the agreement can be sealed and the transaction can be completed on Monday, July 15, in accordance with the government’s commitment for the completion of TT’s sale by mid-July.

The sale of Hellenic Postbank constitutes a prior action for the disbursement of the next bailout tranche, and the representatives of Greece’s creditors will be keeping the fund informed of their views regarding the sale process. The Bank of Greece sent the HFSF a letter noting its view that the synergies created will have to be examined, while regarding the price to be paid in cash, the dependence of every bank on the liquidity of the Eurosystem and the ELA (the emergency liquidity assistance provided by the BoG) will have to be taken in to account for the bidding lenders that have been recapitalized.

The HFSF is an independent body, so while it can take into account what the country’s creditors or the central bank says, it will make the decision by itself. It controls 100 percent of Hellenic Postbank, 83.66 percent of Alpha Bank, 84.33 percent of National Bank, 93.55 percent of Eurobank Ergasias and 81.01 percent of Piraeus Bank.

As a result this will be an internal move to a great extent and the question is how the fund’s choice will lead to recovering as much as possible from the package of the 50 billion euros set aside for the security and restructuring of the domestic credit system.