Ethniki Insurance sale to go ahead as planned
National Bank of Greece has completed 80 percent of its restructuring plan, with five actions left to complete before the end of 2018. The most important of these is the sale of its insurance subsidiary. Kathimerini understands the European Commission’s Directorate General for Competition has rejected a Finance Ministry request for a revision to National’s restructuring plan in order to avoid having to sell Ethniki Insurance. The bank’s management has made no secret of its wish not to sell its subsidiary but the process is unfolding for the sale to be completed within schedule. The implementation of the systemic banks’ restructuring plans agreed with the Directorate General for Competition constitute legally binding commitments for Greece, and if they are not adhered to, the European authorities can demand the immediate return of all state assistance granted to them in the context of the recapitalizations. exports. Core profit, or underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) – stripping out oil inventory holdings – came in at 215 million euros, up from 184 million euros in 2015. The figure was above an analysts’ average forecast of 191.8 million euros in a Reuters poll. Including oil inventories and a one-off insurance compensation, EBITDA jumped to 303 million euros, from 31 million euros in the last quarter of 2015, helped by inventory gains of 82 million euros – thanks to a rise in crude oil prices. setting aside money against potential losses on the bonds it is buying as part of the European Central Bank’s stimulus program, its annual report showed yesterday. However, the Bundesbank is making profits on its bond holdings. Ironically, this is mainly thanks to bonds from troubled countries such as Greece, bought at very high yields and against the opinion of Germany’s own representative on the ECB’s board, during the 2010-12 debt crisis.