Troika be­gins re­view of bailed-out Cyprus

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

In­ter­na­tional lenders yes­ter­day be­gan their third as­sess­ment of the Cyprus econ­omy to see if Nicosia is up­hold­ing its obli­ga­tions un­der a bailout ac­cord struck last March. Cyprus has suc­cess­fully com­pleted two sim­i­lar re­views by the so-called troika of lenders. The lat­est ex­am­i­na­tion will run two weeks and fo­cus on bank re­struc­tur­ing, the planned pri­va­ti­za­tion of state as­sets and how to deal with non­per­form­ing loans. The cen­tral bank said troika tech­nocrats, who will be on the is­land un­til Fe­bru­ary 12, started their mis­sion with “gen­eral dis­cus­sions” on the fi­nan­cial sec­tor. They will also meet in com­ing days with of­fi­cials from the ma­jor banks and the co­op­er­a­tive bank­ing move­ment, which is un­der­go­ing a 1.5-bil­lion-euro re­struc­tur­ing process. Nicosia has said it will stick to the bailout agenda no mat­ter how un­pop­u­lar it is, but the troika will also look at rev­enue-rais­ing mea­sures and how ef­fec­tive they have been. A sur­vey re­leased yes­ter­day by the Univer­sity of Cyprus es­ti­mated the econ­omy con­tracted 5.5 per­cent in 2013 – lower than the troika’s fore­cast of 7.7 per­cent – and that it will con­tinue to shrink by 5.4 per­cent in 2014.

NBG sub­sidiary.

Na­tional Bank of Greece is ex­plor­ing a sale of Lon­don-based NBGI Pri­vate Eq­uity Ltd, ac­cord­ing to two peo­ple with knowl­edge of the mat­ter. Na­tional Bank is work­ing with in­vest­ment bank Co­gent Part­ners, which spe­cial­izes in sec­ondary pri­vate eq­uity trans­ac­tions, said the peo­ple, who asked not to be iden­ti­fied be­cause talks are pri­vate. The Athens-based lender is con­duct­ing a strate­gic re­view, which could be con­cluded in the first half of this year, to po­ten­tially sell NBGI or its as­sets, one of the peo­ple said.

Bond yields drop.

Greek bond yields fell yes­ter­day af­ter a block­buster move by the Turk­ish cen­tral bank to hike in­ter­est rates stalled an emerg­ing mar­ket rout that has hit the eu­ro­zone’s weak­est mem­ber. Ig­nor­ing op­po­si­tion from Prime Min­is­ter Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan, Tur­key’s cen­tral bank raised rates by far more than econ­o­mists had fore­cast in a bid to lift the lira cur­rency off record lows. Greek 10year yields had risen sharply in re­cent days to reach the 2014 highs of 8.90 per­cent on Mon­day, but yes­ter­day they fell 14 ba­sis points to 8.53 per­cent, ex­tend­ing a re­treat that started on Tues­day.

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