Alpha Bank in deal to manage problem loans

Greece’s fourth-largest lender Alpha Bank will launch a joint venture with Spanish financial services firm Aktua Soluciones Financieras to manage a substantial chunk of its non-performing loans, it said on Wednesday.

Alpha and Greece’s other big banks remain burdened by large problem loan portfolios after a deep recession which pushed the country’s jobless rate to nearly 27 percent, and they continue to make provisions for impaired credit.

The joint venture, Aktua Hellas, will be 45 percent owned by Alpha and 55 percent by Aktua, pending regulatory approvals.

“Aktua Hellas will specialise in managing non-performing assets to accelerate friendly resolutions and reach consensual and non-judicial solutions,» Alpha Bank said.

Alpha’s non-performing loans stood at 33.6 percent of its loan book at the end of September.

Aktua, founded in 2008 by Santander, specialises in loan, property and facility management. It has 14.2 billion euros of assets under management and its clients include Spain’s largest banks.