ATHENS, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- Eurobank, one of the four systemic banks in Greece, announced on Thursday that it will sell 1.5 billion euros (1.76 billion U.S. dollars) in non performing unsecured consumer loans to Swedish Credit Management Services company Intrum, Greek national news agency AMNA reported.
Eurobank is the first major Greek lender making the step under the terms of the current Greek bailout program, "Ta Nea" (The News) newspaper and other local media noted.
"We are glad to seal this transaction with Europe's largest credit management services provider," Eurobank CEO Fokion Karavias said in a press release, expressing confidence that the transaction will close by year end.
Greek banks must reduce their non performing exposures burden (which includes non performing loans and restructured loans likely to turn bad) to about 67 billion euros by 2019, under Greece's third bailout deal with international lenders which ends in mid-2018.
In early 2017, this load stood at about 102 billion euros, central Bank of Greece's Governor Yannis Stournaras noted while addressing a forum in Athens last week.
The reduction of the bad loans burden is one of the biggest challenges Greece's banking system has to face as the country is paving the ground to exit the bailout programs for first time since resorting to the first bailout in May 2010 to avert default. (1 euro = 1.17 U.S. dollars) Enditem