Bank of Cyprus offloads Russian subsidiary
NICOSIA - Agence France-Presse
Reuters PhotoBank of Cyprus, the largest lender of Greek Cyprus, announced July 17 that it has sold off its Russian subsidiary Uniastrum as part of what it called a “de-risk strategy.”
BoC said the sale follows a similar deal in Ukraine and completes the disposal of the group’s overseas banking subsidiaries identified for sale.
It reached agreement to sell 80 percent of its 120 Uniastrum branches and other Russian loan exposures to Artem Avetisyan, the majority shareholder in Bank Regional Credit, the bank said in a statement.
The sale is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter of 2015, said BoC. without disclosing a price.
The Greek Cypriot bank paid 450 million euros ($490 million at the current exchange rate) to buy 80 percent of Uniastrum in October 2008.
“The transaction results in an improvement of approximately 30 basis points in Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio due to the reduction of approximately 700 million euros in risk weighted assets,” BoC said.
“The (BoC) Group has reached another milestone in its deleveraging and de-risking strategy, and has eliminated future potential risks relating to its Russian operations, including any liquidity risks,” BOC said.