The European Commission (EC) has approved the restructuring plan of Agricultural Bank of Greece (ATE), judging it apt to restore the bank’s long-term viability whilst ensuring it shares the burden of its restructuring and limits the distortions of competition, a press release informs. The plan involves a State recapitalisation of the bank of up to EUR 1,144.5 million as well as liquidity measures. The bank committed to reduce it its overall assets by 25 per cent during the restructuring period and to improve its efficiency.
Commission Vice President in charge of competition policy Joaquín Almunia said: “ATE’s restructuring plan contains adequate measures to tackle the bank’s weaknesses and minimise distortions of competition. It demonstrates that the bank can improve its profitability by focusing on core activities, improving its efficiency and adapting to sound market practices. This is also a positive result of our participation in the international macro-financial assistance programme for Greece.”
The Commission concluded that the restructuring plan submitted in April 2011 should allow ATE to return to long-term viability. It also contains sufficient measures to ensure that the bank’s owners contribute adequately to the cost of restructuring and to limit the distortion of competition brought about by the state support.