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Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The Bank of Cyprus said it has signed an agree­ment for the sale of its as­sets in Ro­ma­nia, say­ing it would en­hance its liq­uid­ity by EUR 95 mln.

The bank said it was sell­ing the as­sets re­lated to So­ci­etatea Com­pani­ilor Hote­liere Grand S.R.L. (“GHES”), owner of the JW Mar­riott Bucharest Grand Ho­tel prop­erty to Stra­bag SE, an Aus­trian com­pany.

The as­sets com­prise (i) a fa­cil­ity agree­ment between GHES, as bor­rower, and Bank of Cyprus Ro­ma­nia Branch, (ii) 1,474,482 shares is­sued by GHES to an af­fil­i­ate of the bank rep­re­sent­ing 35,292% of the is­sued share cap­i­tal of GHES, and (iii) a sub­or­di­nated loan agree­ment between GHES, as bor­rower, and an af­fil­i­ate of the bank, as lender. The deal is ex­pected to be con­cluded by the end of Septem­ber .

The bank said that the ac­count­ing

loss from the trans­ac­tion is around EUR 1 mln, but there is a pos­i­tive im­pact of EUR 7 mln on the Group’s cap­i­tal po­si­tion, af­ter the re­duc­tion in risk weighted as­sets.

The bank has been dis­pos­ing of non-core as­sets, in­clud­ing bank­ing op­er­a­tions in the Ukraine, other as­sets held by now-de­funct Pop­u­lar Laiki and is con­sid­er­ing sell­ing its 80% Rus­sia af­fil­i­ate, Uni­as­trum. Merg­ing of the Bank of Cyprus and ex-Laiki op­er­a­tions has also saved the group some EUR 5 mln in an­nual rent, while other dor­mant prop­er­ties in Cyprus, Greece and the UK are up for sale.

The Group’s jewel in­sur­ance busi­nesses, EuroLife and Gen­eral In­sur­ance Co., will prob­a­bly stay, as buy­ers are sought for the CNP As­sur­ance busi­ness, 51% con­trolled by the French In­sur­ance gi­ant that also wants to dis­pose of its loss-mak­ing Cyprus op­er­a­tions.

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