By Stelios Orphanides
The state-owned Cyprus Cooperative Bank said that it selected US lender Citigroup to act as global coordinator in its planned capital increase, which is part of its strategic Agenda 2020.
“Citigroup is a leading banking group with global outreach and significant presence in Southeast Europe,” the former Cooperative Central Bank said in an emailed statement on Monday. “This is an important step for the Coop to become a modern, European bank, which will put the interests of its customers, the country and its shareholders first”.
The chief executive officer of the Cypriot bank, which received a €1.7bn capital injection from the government in 2014 and 2015, said a month ago that he expects that the capital increase will take place by June next year.
The bank exhausted all available margins for tapping state aid and is working on a Cyprus Stock Exchange listing which will allow it to raise private capital via successive share issues over the next three-year period aiming at reducing the government’s shareholding from currently 99 per cent to below 25 per cent.