ECONOMY

Decision on Hellenic Postbank, Proton sales due on Friday

The Hellenic Financial Stability Fund was expected to decide on Friday on the sale of Hellenic Postbank and Proton Bank.

Greece’s fourth-largest lender Eurobank is expected to clinch the deals, according to sources. The bank submitted a bid to buy small lender Proton Bank on Thursday ahead of a July 15 deadline for the country’s bank rescue fund to sell it.

Meanwhile Hellenic Postbank staff walked off the job on Friday, calling for the lender to remain autonomous.

Greek authorities completed the recapitalization of the country’s four big banks last month and wound down others deemed non-viable to improve the sector’s capacity to help the economy recover from a six-year recession.

The country has pledged to its European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders to sell Proton Bank and New Hellenic Postbank by mid-July to get more rescue funds under a 240 billion-euro bailout.

Like Hellenic Postbank, Proton was split into «good» and «bad» parts and is now fully owned by Greece’s bank rescue fund, the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund. Proton has deposits of one billion euros and 1.3 billion euros ($1.70 billion) in assets.

[Kathimerini, Reuters]