Co-op says expression of interest “satisfactory” as deadline expires today

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By Stelios Orphanides

Co-op bank executives on Thursday expressed satisfaction over investor interest, as the deadline for the expression of interest for acquiring the Cyprus Co-operative Bank, its assets, or part of them, expires on Thursday at 2pm.

“Those who are in, are of high quality and this matters a lot,” said Yiannos Stavrinides, head of communication and strategy at the state-owned bank. “Fortunately, there is interest about all aspects and options of the transaction announced on March 19.”

Some of the investors, he added, have invested in Cyprus in the past or have investment on the island, while others have invested in South Europe, including Greece.

Stavrinides who was speaking on state-radio CyBC, said that the bank will not disclose names of investors who will be deemed eligible to enter the second stage — expected to be completed by the end of May – in line with confidentiality agreements. In the second stage, investors will have to submit binding offers.

The US financial services giant Citi, which advises the bank, bailed out by the government with almost €1.7bn, has been screening interested parties to ensure that they have the financial capacity to carry out the transaction plus the qualitative characteristics required for supervisory approval, the executive said.

“Our preference is the one that will ensure the highest degree of stability,” Stavrinides said in response to a question whether the bank prefers to see an investor acquiring it as a whole or its assets. “This will be ensured via the content of the proposals which is something we don’t have today. Today we only have expression of interest”.

Stavrinides said that the bank, which is struggling with €6.5bn in non-performing loans, accounting for roughly half of its loan portfolio, has been witnessing “some activity” at the branches caused by customer concern about the outcome of the procedure, which was expected.

On Tuesday, Moody’s Investors Service cut the bank’s baseline credit assessment by two notches to ‘ca’.

“This concern cannot block the procedure underway,” he said.

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About Author

Stelios Orphanides is a journalist at CyprusBusinessMail.com. To contact Stelios Orphanides: [email protected]

  • Jeremy Rigg

    I hope my 50c bid for the CO is accepted. I badly need a new gardener.

    • Ιοαννις Γεωργιου

      Feeling generous today..

    • Bob Ellis

      You out bid me, I wanted them to give me the bank plus a couple of billion to deal with everything that has been swept under the carpet.

  • Ιοαννις Γεωργιου

    With Citygroup as the advisor of the deal i would expect interest from Jp Morgan Credit Suisse or at least Mizuho bank of Japan …jesus christ whats happening

  • cypbychoice

    All I want to know is will my pension coming from the UK and be paid as normal

    • redstorm

      wait for the outcome, and see is your account number will be the same,,,

    • Neroli

      Change to another bank

  • mongasz

    strong interest haha yeah from vulture funds…..

    • Cydee

      Ahh, but they’re ‘quality’ vulture funds…..

  • Kevin Ingham

    Co-op is not viable in it’s current form, it will not be allowed to continue in it’s current form by the EU and will have to be broken up . There will always be buyers for the profitable accounts, no sane entity would touch the toxic element with a barge pole.

    How much the toxic element is worth depends entirely on the foreclosure and insolvency laws in Cyprus- which means it’s worth less than nothing as it currently stands (and the Cypriot tax payer will be picking up the tab for that by whatever means the Troika deems fit )

  • Neroli

    If there are any more robberies there will be nothing left anyway!

    • Bananaman

      I suspect the withdrawals and transfers (“Bank Run”) has already begun so by the end of the second stage of bidding all that will remain is staff, IT and non deposit assets

  • John Henry

    Who insures the 100K that we always hear about? Is it possible if (when) the bank collapses totally that quite simply those who actually have money in savings in a co-op will lose it regardless of the amount? We’re down to just enough to pay bills however I don’t care to give a single euro toward decades of squandering!

    • Kevin Ingham

      It’s an EU “scheme” but it is only backed up by the country’s government ie the Cyprus taxpayers . Until such time as the EU/Euro has a proper banking union that will remain the case

  • villagehouse

    “Co-op bank executives on Thursday expressed satisfaction over investor interest,”
    And the two contenders are………Arthur Daley & Delboy Trotter.

  • Cydee

    Quote “Those who are in, are of high quality and this matters a lot,”
    Being filthy-rich does not necessarily equate with being ‘quality’……

  • seriously

    I think it was Abraham Lincoln who said. Whoever owns the banks owns the country!!!!

  • Bernard Smart

    Perhaps all these interested party’s should have a chat with John Patrick from boc. (Probably be a nice little earner for him).
    Cant see them remaining interested if they do.