The Eurobank group is further expanding its presence abroad with the acquisition of a 12.6% stake in Hellenic Bank, in Cyprus, implementing its strategic plan for strengthening its hold in markets where it is already active. This is the second acquisition made by the group within 2021, following that of Direktna Bank in Serbia earlier this month.
Eurobank intends to penetrate further the foreign markets it is involved in, i.e. Bulgaria, Serbia and Cyprus. Its expansion abroad constitutes a comparative advantage that, according to Chief Executive Officer Fokion Karavias, distinguishes the lender from its competition. This is not only because the activities abroad are a key main source of revenues, but also because they form part of the strategy for a substantial presence in the region.
The deal in Cyprus provides for obtaining a 9.9% stake in the island’s second largest lender from the Third Point Hellenic Recovery Fund through a share transaction contract, and the acquisition of another 2.7%.
Eurobank is already active in Cyprus through its subsidiary Eurobank Cyprus. As group Chairman Giorgos Zannias told the general meeting of shareholders on Friday, Eurobank is able to make the most of the positive developments across all three countries where it maintains a significant presence, as the pandemic-driven recession was relatively mild and the recovery has already begun this year.
Karavias made a special reference to Eurobank’s strategy for the reduction of nonperforming loans after the Cairo package securitization and the other initiatives for the streamlining of its portfolio. “We have been a catalyst and a pioneer, opening the way for the competition,” he noted, stressing that through the Mexico securitization of 3.3 billion euros, to be completed in the last quarter of the year, Eurobank “will fulfill its strategic commitment to reducing its nonperforming exposures index below 10% earlier.”
“We also are on course for achieving a double-digit rate of returns for our assets in 2022,” said the Eurobank CEO, underscoring the group’s readiness to be a protagonist in Greece’s growth over the coming years, contributing in all business plans and in channeling the country’s Recovery and Resilience Plan resources.