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26 June, 2024
 
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Eurobank takes control with 55.3% share in Hellenic Bank

Eurobank's strategic moves: Merger plans and Mumbai office expansion

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The European Central Bank (ECB) has given its approval for Eurobank to acquire a majority stake of over 50% in Hellenic Bank, marking a significant milestone in the banking landscape of Cyprus.

Eurobank, a prominent financial institution, now holds a commanding 55.3% share of Hellenic Bank's capital, effectively granting it control over the bank's operations. This development sets the stage for Eurobank's ambitious plan to merge Hellenic Bank with its existing subsidiary, Eurobank Cyprus.

The envisioned merger aims to create not only the largest banking entity on the island but also one with a cohesive and efficient business model. However, the road to consolidation may prove to be challenging, as it requires navigating through the diverse interests of Hellenic Bank's remaining shareholders.

While Eurobank awaits final approvals from the Central Bank of Cyprus and the Registrar of Insurance Companies, it is poised to make a public offer to acquire the remaining shares of Hellenic Bank in the coming summer months. This process will undergo scrutiny by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, ensuring transparency and fairness.

The response of Hellenic Bank's other major shareholders, including Dimitra, ETYK, and Logicom, remains uncertain. Despite Eurobank's positive relations with these stakeholders, previous appeals against the concentration of shares indicate potential hurdles in the merger process.

In parallel with its banking endeavours, Eurobank is strategically expanding its global presence. A representative office is set to be established in Mumbai, India, aimed at fostering business opportunities between India and Europe. This move aligns with Eurobank's broader strategy of diversification and growth.

Furthermore, Hellenic Bank's recent agreement with CNP Assurances to acquire its subsidiary, CNP Cyprus, signifies a strategic shift towards bolstering its position in the insurance market. With market shares of approximately 30.3% and 23.2% in the life and general insurance sectors, respectively, Hellenic Bank emerges as a key player in Cyprus' insurance landscape.

As Eurobank charts its course towards a unified banking entity in Cyprus, the financial sector braces for transformative changes that could redefine the industry's landscape for years to come.

[Summary of Panayiotis Rougalas' original story in Greek published in Kathimerini's Cyprus edition]

TAGS
Cyprus  |  banks  |  economy

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