ECONOMY

Bill to turn TT into SA

Greece yesterday brought to Parliament a draft bill to turn state-owned Postal Savings Bank (TT) into a public corporation, paving the way for more competition in the country’s banking sector. The Postal Savings Bank, with deposits of about 5.68 billion euros, has 136 branches and also uses the Greek post office’s 750 branch network for banking transactions. «TT’s network will initially be a threat to small banks. However, a lot of restructuring is required for it to start operating as a bank network,» said a senior bank official. TT recently bought 17 percent of Bank of Attica last month from Commercial Bank for 40.3 million euros or 5.64 euros per share in a bid to tap its know-how and list on the Athens bourse via a merger with Attica. TT has held talks with Attica Bank’s major shareholders – the civil engineers’ pension fund with 34 percent and the Savings and Loans Depository with 15.5 percent – with a view to obtaining a majority holding. «Contacts with the two (Bank of Attica) shareholders will resume after the bill has been voted in, to see whether we can agree on merging the two companies,» a senior TT official told Reuters. The draft bill also foresees TT transferring its holdings in the National Bank, Commercial Bank, Bank of Greece, Alpha Bank and ETEBA bank to the State. TT currently owns 12.6 million shares in National Bank, 7.8 million shares in Commercial Bank, 1.6 million in Alpha Bank, 785,526 shares in the Bank of Greece and 898,780 shares in ETEBA bank. The total market value of bank shares held in TT’s portfolio based on Friday’s close is about 440 million euros. TT’s share capital will be 900 million euros, which will consist of 150 million shares, each with a par value of six euros. (Reuters) Capers’ market remains positive with their index arriving last Friday at 1,450 points.