Cyprus Mail

Lozides to help Bank of Piraeus focus on core operations

Constantinos Loizides, chairman of Piraeus Bank (Cyprus) Ltd, a unit of Greece’s Bank of Piraeus will head the group’s international operations division as well as of the business planning and business development, the bank said.

Following his appointment which becomes effective on April 1, Loizides will oversee the management of Piraeus Bank’s non-bank investment both in Greece and abroad and continue his duties as chairman of the Cyprus unit, the lender said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.

Constantinos Loizides Bank of Piraeus“My associates and I are facing a new great challenge which will address,” said Loizides, who currently oversees the disposal of Bank of Piraeus’s unit in Egypt at which he serves as managing director.

The Cyprus Business Mail understands that Loizides will oversee the management and disposal over time of non-bank assets worth around €10bn accumulated by Bank of Piraeus, which is Greece’s second largest bank, in the past and include hotels, hospitals and more.

As part of the third bailout package agreed by Greece and international creditors in the second half of 2015, Greek lenders will have to strengthen their balance sheet and profitability and reduce their offshore operations. In addition, recapitalised Greek banks need to reduce their staff levels and branches in Greece as well as their operating expenses.

Loizides also served in the past as managing director of Hellenic Bank and of Bankers Trust Co New York.

On March 4, Greece’s Kathimerini reported that U.S. hedge fund manager and billionaire who owns 9.3 per cent of the bank’s share, was pushing for changes in the lender’s management. In a telephone interview, Loizides said his appointment at the new position was unrelated to Paulson’s demands.

Piraeus is owned to more than one quarter by the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund, tasked with maintaining the stability of Greece’s banking system. In the fourth quarter of 2015, Bank of Piraeus posted a net loss of €1.2bn, after generating a €495m profit in the quarter before, mainly on a €1.4bn increase in provision for customer loan impairment.

In March 2013, Bank of Piraeus acquired the operations of Cypriot banks in Greece for about €0.5bn.

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