Strabag takes stake in Marriott Grand Hotel

Strabag takes stake in Marriott Grand Hotel
Strabag headquarters in Vienna. Photo: Strabag.
Troubled Bank of Cyprus (BoC), the island's largest lender, said Wednesday it has agreed to sell its stake in Romania's Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel to an Austrian firm for €95 million, according to an AFP report. The bailed-in bank said the proceeds will enhance its liquidity.

BoC's Romanian branch will sell its 35.29 percent stake in the hotel's holding company to Austrian construction company Strabag.

Strabag already has a connection to Cyprus, as Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska's Cyprus based Rasperia Trading has taken a significant stake in the company.

Completion of the deal is expected by the end of September and no later than the end of October 2014, BoC said in a statement.

"The proceeds of the sale will enhance the bank's liquidity position," it added.

The disposal will lead to a book loss of one million euros but will improve the bank's capital position by €7 million, the BoC said.

The sale fits with the group's strategy of focusing on core businesses and markets and disposing of non-core operations, it said.

"It is also in line with the group's decision to gradually reduce its presence in Romania and finally exit the Romanian market," the bank added.

In return for €10 billion ($13 billion) in aid from international lenders, the island in March 2013 agreed to wind down its second largest bank, Laiki, and impose losses on large depositors in BoC, its largest but under-capitalised lender.

These depositors were hit with a 47.5 percent "bail-in" charge as part of the restructuring package.

BoC is now trying to claw back money it lost during a period of rapid expansion.

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