Bank of Cyprus sells UK loan portfolio

Cypriot lender Bank of Cyprus has agreed to sell a UK loan portfolio to Mars Capital Finance and Camael Mortgages for 361 million euros ($465 million), it said on Thursday.

The loan portfolio is largely composed of residential and commercial real estate-backed facilities, Bank of Cyprus said in a statement.

It was part of a wider UK loan portfolio transferred to the group after its acquisition of now-defunct Laiki Bank in March 2013 and was not related to Bank of Cyprus UK, the Group’s wholly-owned subsidiary.

Bank of Cyprus has been gradually deleveraging and disposing of overseas assets after it was forced to convert its own depositors’ cash into equity to recapitalise in early 2013.

The process, known as a ‘bail-in’, was a condition of international lenders the IMF and the EU for Cyprus to receive 10 billion euros in bailout aid.

The bank successfully managed to raise 1 billion euros in fresh capital, mainly from overseas investors, last July. [Reuters]

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