BRUSSELS May 3 The European Commission on
Friday approved the liquidation aid given to Greece's ATEbank
, whose healthy assets were sold to Piraeus Bank
in July 2012, with the rest to be wound down.
While three measures taken by Greece, such as a 7.471
billion euro ($9.77 billion) injection to bridge the bank's
funding gap, were considered to be state aid for ATEbank, the
European Commission said they were limited and within the rules.
"The Commission found that the aid was limited to the
minimum necessary to ensure an orderly resolution. In addition,
the market exit of ATEbank limits the distortions of competition
brought about by the aid," said the Commission, which acts as
the bloc's competition watchdog.
The Commission said the takeover of healthy assets by
Greece's fourth-biggest lender Piraeus Bank did not constitute
state aid, with Piraeus putting in the best bid in a tender
($1 = 0.7649 euros)
(Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Philip