NICOSIA May 11 Greece's central bank has
granted a license to Pillarstone, the platform set up by private
equity firm KKR, to provide long-term capital to large Greek
corporate borrowers and manage non-performing exposures for
Greek banks, Eurobank said on Thursday.
Pillarstone will begin talking within coming weeks with a
number of Greek companies, the bank said in a statement without
KKR signed an agreement with Eurobank ,
the country's third largest lender Eurobank, and fourth largest
Alpha Bank in 2016, to roll out its platform into
"The provision of fresh capital and operational expertise to
over-indebted businesses, and the ongoing support of Greece's
largest banks in managing their underperforming exposures, can
play a significant role in the recovery of the country's
economy," Johannes Huth, head of KKR EMEA said in a statement.
Greek banks are continuing to struggle with problem loans
after a deep, protracted recession pushed unemployment to record
highs, making it hard for borrowers to service their debts. They
have agreed with regulators on ambitious bad debt reduction
targets spanning a 3-year time horizon.
The banks are aiming to cut their so-called non-performing
exposures (NPE) to 66.7 billion euros by 2019 from 106.9 billion
euros in September 2016, meaning their NPE ratio would fall to
34 percent from 51 percent.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will
selectively co-invest in partnership with KKR, Pillarstone and
the banks, Eurobank said.
Sabina Dziurman, EBRD's director for Greece and Cyprus, told
Reuters on Wednesday that EBRD was ready to invest in
Pillarstone "to help get companies back on a performing path"
once Pillarstone was licensed by the central bank.
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Writing by Renee Maltezou
Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)