THE first merger of co-operative banks in the Nicosia district, as part of the restructuring and downsizing of the co-op sector, has been completed.
Last weekend six co-ops from the Nicosia area – Kokkinotrimithia, Kakopetria, Solia, Marathasa and Ayia Marina – combined to form the new Nicosia Co-operative Savings Bank. According to an announcement, the new institution covers a district with a population of some 80,000, and a geographical area extending from the centre of Nicosia to the Solias/Troodos area.
The second combination is set to be carried out this coming Saturday, with the Co-operative Savings Bank for Policemen merging with the Co-operative Savings Bank for Members of the Cyprus Army.
Overall, the 93 existing co-ops are to be reduced to 18 entities through such mergers.
Under the scheme, Nicosia will have 10 companies, followed by Limassol and Larnaca with three each. Famagusta and Paphos will have one company each.
Co-operatives will receive €1.5 billion from the state to recapitalise in line with the island’s €10 billion bailout deal with international lenders.
The move will make the state the exclusive owner of the co-operatives, acquiring 99 per cent of its shares.