ECONOMY

Eurobank to start privatization process by end-November

The data room process for the sale of Eurobank is expected to start by the end of November so that the privatization of the state-owned systemic lender can be completed within the first quarter of 2014, according to a timetable presented to investors by the bank.

According to the timetable, before the process begins, BlackRock will have to confirm its assessment regarding the bank’s strength, which is expected within November. At the same time, the bank’s management should also complete its absorption of Proton Bank and its incorporation of the new Hellenic Postbank, which will retain its autonomous corporate identity within the group. The convergence of banking products and the incorporation of various systems is expected to take some nine months, with bank officials citing Eurobank’s experience in acquisitions, particularly in credit institutions with characteristics similar to those of Hellenic Postbank.

The group’s advantages include its strengthening after the acquisition of the new Hellenic Postbank and Proton, as their incorporation has taken the group’s market share in loans issued from 16.1 percent to 19.9 percent, while its market share in deposits has risen from 12.3 percent to 18.8 percent.

The data presented to investors also showed that the synergies from the absorption of the two lenders are estimated at 200 million euros per year before tax by 2015, while a key factor toward the bank’s return to profits will be its disengagement from Eurosystem funding. Forty-four percent of synergy benefits will come from the reduction in funding costs, while 42 percent will come from cutting operational costs and 9 percent from increasing revenues.

The incorporation of Proton and Hellenic Postbank also increases the group’s cash flow from 17.5 billion to 19.5 billion euros.