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Coop bank’s bad loans to be managed by Altamira

Cyprus Cooperative Bank and Altamira Asset Management are to set up a joint venture for the management of the lender’s NPEs (€7.2 billion) and real-estate (€0.4 billion) owned assets, according to an e-mailed statement from the CCB.

The statement in full reads:

“Following an EGM, Cyprus Cooperative Bank (CCB) (Moody’s Caa2) announces the approval of the agreement with Altamira Asset Management SA for the setup of a Joint Venture to act as the servicer for the management of the Bank’s NPEs and Real Estate Owned (REO) assets.

CCB is a dynamic bank active in the domestic market with total assets of €14,1 billion and 2.668 employees. Established in Cyprus in 1937, the Bank expanded through organic growth to become a leading force in the Cypriot banking sector. CCB is regulated by the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) and being one of the systemic banks of the island, it is supervised directly by the European Central Bank (ECB). CCB’s ownership structure comprises of the Republic of Cyprus with a 77,34% stake, the Recapitalization Fund with a 21,88% stake and the Cooperative Holding Company with a 0,78% stake. CCB is a full member of the European Association of Cooperative Banks and a member of the European region of the International Cooperative Alliance.

CCB is the leading domestic retail bank by market share and the second largest in terms of total assets. The Bank’s network comprises of close to 160 branches bolstered with the most extensive ATM grid on the island, offering a comprehensive range of banking and insurance services and products to its retail, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and corporate clients.

Altamira is the second largest asset management company in Europe with a €65 bn portfolio under management. Altamira started as Banco Santander’s troubled loan and property loan platform. In 2014, the US Apollo Global Management Fund has entered the capital with a total investment of more than €600m. In the same year, Spanish SAREB, which is the bad bank of the Central Bank of Spain, instructed Altamira to manage 50.000 troubled accounts and real estate. It maintains a similar agreement with the Portuguese Oitante. Altamira also manages the NPEs of BBBVA, Bain Capital, and Banco Santander, which has recently taken over Banco Popular’s portfolio.”

Minister’s response

Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said that the announcement by the Cooperative Central Bank that it will create a platform to manage Non-Performing Loans is a decisive step in dealing with the problem of NPEs in the Cyprus banking system.

“It is, after all, a demand of many credit rating agencies that such solutions are sought. Consequently, the entry of a large asset management company in the Cyprus market is an important development,” he said.


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