Bank of Cyprus has agreed to sell majority of its Russian operations, including its 80% stake in Russia’s Uniastrum Bank, to Artyom Avetisyan, the majority shareholder in Russia’s Regional Credit Bank.
The move forms part of the group’s strategy to focus on core businesses and markets and dispose non-core operations.
The bank had earlier reclassified its Russian operations as a disposal group held for sale citing the deteriorating economic conditions in Russia.
This sale will enable the bank to de-risk its balance sheet by nearly EUR700m and facilitate the release of risk weighted assets of about EUR700m.
The move is also projected to enhance the bank’s regulatory capital position, with a positive impact of around 30 basis points on the Group’s Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio.
The transaction, pending regulatory approvals, is scheduled to be completed by the end of this third quarter of 2015.