Eurobank is in talks with Banca Transilvania to sell its subsidiaries in Romania as part of a restructuring plan agreed by Greece’s third largest lender with European Union authorities.
The sale would close a decade-long chapter of ambitions by Eurobank and other Greek lenders to spread their wings abroad after the country’s debt crisis forced them to retreat.
Eurobank, which has operations in Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Cyprus, needs to shrink its non-Greek assets to 8.7 billion euros next year from about 11.2 billion currently, based on commitments agreed with European competition authorities.
The bank said the potential sale will include Romanian units Bancpost, ERB Retail Services IFN and ERB Leasing IFN.
“The details as regards the negotiations will be published after finalizing necessary steps and obtaining relevant approvals. Finalisation of the negotiations is expected at the end of October,” Eurobank said. HSBC and Mediobanca are Eurobank’s advisers on the sale.
Fully-owned Bancpost has total assets of about 3.1 billion euros and a network of 148 branches, employing 2,255 people.
Greek banks have been slimming down by divesting assets and foreign subsidiaries to focus on banking at home, with proceeds boosting capital ratios and liquidity.
Peer National Bank (NBG) last month agreed to sell its wholly-owned Serbian operations – Vojvodjanska Banka, NBG Leasing and a portfolio of Serbian-risk corporate loans – to OTP Serbia, a subsidiary of Hungary’s OTP Bank.
In July NBG also agreed to sale its Romanian unit Banca Romaneasca to OTP Bank.