Troika could speed up Finansbank’s sale
Hayri Çetinkaya / Hülya Güler ISTANBUL / Hürriyet
Finansbank Chairman Aras says troika could push NBG to sell Finansbank stake. Hürriyet photo
The sale of Turkey’s Finansbank could quicken if the National Bank of Greece (NBG), which has a 25 stake in the Turkish lender, is pushed to do so by European financial authorities, according to the Turkish bank’s chairman.
“Even though NBG instigated the sale of its 25 percent stake in Finansbank back in October 2010, the stake was not sold since the necessary market conditions had not been met. However, if the Troika [the EU Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund] make a decision to quicken the pace of the sale, there could be a sale by the end of the year,” Ömer Aras told daily Hürriyet.
Aras said the European Central Bank (ECB) had played a pivotal role in supporting NBG and other Greek banks during the crisis. In particular, the ECB provided 18 billion euros in loans to the Greek banks, of which 7.4 billion euros was earmarked for NBG, allowing the Greek bank to hold onto its stake in the Turkish lender, Aras said, adding that NBG was not currently in a hurry to raise capital and was waiting for market conditions to improve.
“Finansbank is one of NBG’s most valuable assets. It shines like a sparkling ring. Therefore, NBG doesn’t want to sell its stake. Even if there are offers, we aren’t made aware of them. Finansbank is the best investment in its balance sheet,” said Aras.