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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.