ECONOMY

TT eyeing stake in Aspis Bank

Shares in Aspis Bank soared nearly 20 percent yesterday after news that peer Hellenic Postbank (TT) plans to take a stake in Aspis in what is likely to be the latest change to the country’s banking landscape. Aspis Bank shares rose 19.75 percent to 0.97 euros, following Tuesday’s jump of 19 percent, taking its market capitalization to 62.1 million euros. The broader market advanced 2.3 percent. State-controlled Hellenic Postbank said that it intends to acquire between between 30 percent and 32.9 percent of Aspis Bank on the condition that its basic shareholders do not take part in the rights issue. In an assessment of the deal, Proton Research said Aspis could contribute its know-how in retail and corporate banking business to TT but added that a high cost-to-income ratio indicates a «rather inefficient bank.» «The above makes us skeptical of the potential benefits from such a deal, given Aspis’s subdued core profitability,» Proton said in a note.