Bank of Cyprus sells Serbian loans to Pireaus

Cypriot banking group Bank of Cyprus has sold loans extended to Serbian real estate company Robne Kuce Beograd to Piraeus Bank of Greece, it said on Thursday.

The sale continues the gradual deleveraging and retrenching from years of overseas expansion by Bank of Cyprus after it was forced to convert large deposits to equity and recapitalize last year. Its shares have been suspended from equity trading for more than a year.

The bank, which sold its Greek operations to Pireaus in March 2013, said the sale consideration amounted to approximately 165 million euros ($225 million).

The realized accounting gain from the transaction was 27 million euros, with a positive impact of about 46 million, or 0.2 percentage points on the group’s core Tier 1 capital ratio.

As part of a 10 billion euro international bailout for Cyprus last year from the EU and IMF, Bank of Cyprus was also forced to absorb some assets of now-defunct Laiki Bank. The Serbian loans were part of those legacy assets. [Reuters]

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