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Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Fourth-largest lender Al­pha Bank will launch a joint ven­ture with Span­ish fi­nan­cial ser­vices firm Ak­tua Solu­ciones Fi­nancieras, an off­shoot of San­tander, to man­age a sub­stan­tial chunk of its non-per­form­ing loans. Al­pha and Greece’s other big banks re­main bur­dened by large prob­lem loan port­fo­lios after a deep re­ces­sion which pushed the job­less rate to nearly 27%, and they con­tinue to make pro­vi­sions for im­paired credit.

The joint ven­ture, Ak­tua Hellas, will be 45% owned by Al­pha and 55% by Ak­tua, and will “ac­cel­er­ate friendly res­o­lu­tions and reach con­sen­sual and non-ju­di­cial so­lu­tions.” Al­pha’s non­per­form­ing loans stood at 33.6% of its loan book at the end of Septem­ber. Ak­tua spe­cialises in loan, prop­erty and fa­cil­ity man­age­ment with 14.2 bln euros of as­sets un­der man­age­ment.

The news fol­lows a trans­ac­tion ear­lier in De­cem­ber where Al­pha Bank raised more than $500 mln backed by shipping loans, while its Cyprus sub­sidiary an­nounced the ac­qui­si­tion of Em­po­riki Bank Cyprus.

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