sources close to the deal said. “It has been public that from a business point of view we would have liked to keep the insurance company,” NBG’s chief executive Leonidas Fragkiadakis told Reuters. “However, it’s part of our restructuring and we will be focused on performing on our commitments. There is a process going on and we are at its early stages,” he said. When asked when a deal could be reached, he said he expected a sale within the year, declining to elaborate further. NBG has agreed to sell its Bulgarian unit, United Bulgarian Bank, to Belgian bank KBC Group in a 610-million-euro deal last week. It sold its Turkish unit Finansbank to Qatar National Bank for 2.7 billion euros in June. Fragkiadakis said the Greek lender, with units in Serbia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Romania and Cyprus, plans further divestment of units abroad as part of the bank’s restructuring and will bet on the domestic market to return to profitability. “I cannot comment on which countries, but there is still future on divestment plans,” he said.
Romania’s Social Democrat-led coalition government won a vote of confidence in Parliament yesterday, as expected, returning to power after a one-year break. Some economists warn the new government is likely to breach the European Union’s ceiling on the public deficit of 3 percent of gross domestic product this year. A previously approved reduction in value-added tax of one percentage point went into effect this month. Two other levies were scrapped.