July 23, 2012 / 9:46 AM / 7 years ago

Greece's EFG Eurobank to split from EFG Group

A woman makes a transaction at an ATM of a Eurobank branch in Athens September 23, 2011. REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece’s second-largest lender EFG Eurobank EFGr.AT said on Monday it would split from EFG Group at the request of European regulatory authorities.

EFG Group would transfer 43.55 percent of its 44.7 percent stake in the Greek lender to nine younger members of the Latsis family, a major shareholder in Eurobank which made its fortune in shipping, the bank said.

“Eurobank is no longer going to be consolidated into the financial statements of the EFG Group,” it said in a statement.

European regulatory authorities had asked for the distinction of the two groups in terms of branding and management and eventually a distinction in ownership, the bank added.

Eurobank, like other Greek banks, has been battered by the country’s debt crisis. It lost 5.5 billion euros ($6.7 billion) in 2011, hit by debt swap writedowns.

Greek banks depend on funding from the European Central Bank to be recapitalized, a vital part of the 130 billion euro EU and International Monetary Fund bailout Greece agreed in March to stave off national bankruptcy.

“Given the conditions that have developed in the Greek economy, the regulators made ​​clear the need for complete separation of the two groups,” a banking official said on condition of anonymity.

“This would ensure that Greek developments and any risk assessment would not affect the activities of EFG Group in the sensitive area of international private banking.”

The bank said it would elect new board members in the coming days. ($1 = 0.8219 euros)

Reporting by Karolina Tagaris; Editing by David Holmes

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