July 28, 2014 / 8:32 AM / 3 years ago

Volksbank Romania sells 495 mln euros of non-performing loans

* NPL ratio falls to 8 pct

* Parent bank required to sell Romanian unit by 2015

BUCHAREST, July 28 (Reuters) - Volksbank Romania, controlled by Austria's partly nationalised lender Volksbanken AG , has sold 495 million euros ($664.98 million) worth of non-performing loans at an undisclosed discount, it said on Monday.

The loans were sold to a consortium made of Deutsche Bank, AnaCap Financial Partners LLP, H.I.G Capital International Advisers and APS Holding SE. It lowered the loss-making bank's ratio of non-performing loans to 8 percent, three times below the average in Romania's banking system.

The bank's non-performing loans totalled about 599 million euros at the end of 2013.

Parent Volksbanken AG needs to sell its 51 percent stake in its Romanian banking business - which it has entirely written down - by the end of 2015, as one condition of the state support it received at the height of the financial crisis.

"This transaction is the first of its kind on the Romanian market," Volksbank vice president Alexander Tscherteu said in a statement. "Other banks will surely follow."

The portfolio of 3,566 loans was backed primarily by residential and commercial real estate and development land, said AnaCap Financial Partners, part of the consortium and a specialist private equity investor.

"The transaction ... came about as a result of the ongoing pressure on financial institutions across Europe to restructure and divest assets in order to clean up balance sheets and comply with new capital requirements," AnaCap said in a statement.

Romania's central bank has encouraged local banks to clean up their balance sheets by selling non-performing loans, which make up about 22 percent of the banks' total loan portfolio. ($1 = 0.7444 Euros) (Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Larry King)

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