Eurobank, Greece's third-largest lender by assets, said on Friday that its takeover of Grivalia Properties was given the green light by the European Union's competition authority because it meets state aid rules.
In November Eurobank agreed a 780-million-euro deal to buy Grivalia Properties to boost its capital and speed up the reduction of sour loans.
Deputy Prime Minister Yiannis Dragasakis warned on Wednesday in Parliament of the possibility that local banks may require a fresh capital injection that the Greek taxpayers could once again have to cover.
In doing so, he started to prepare citizens for the consequences of the upcoming plans for tackling nonperforming loans.
The Greek stock market succumbed to pressure early on Wednesday but eventually narrowed its morning losses almost down to zero by the close.
The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index ended at 656.92 points, down less than 0.01 percent from Tuesday's 656.96 points. The large-cap FTSE-25 index contracted 0.39 percent to 1,720.96 points, while the mid-cap index expanded 0.46 percent.
In an interview with Kathimerini, Indo-Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa, head of Fairfax Financial Holdings, expresses optimism that Greece can achieve a strong economic recovery in the coming years.
Apart from Eurobank and Grivalia Properties REIC, a Greece-based real estate investment company, Watsa has also invested in the Eurolife ERB insurance group and other companies.
The planned merger between the Eurobank Group and Grivalia Properties that was announced on Monday is aimed at the full streamlining of Greece's third-largest lender through the drastic reduction of its portfolio of nonperforming exposures from 39 percent of all loans at end-September to 15 percent at end-2019 and below 10 percent in 2021.
Greek 10-year government bond yields on Monday saw their biggest one-day fall since September after a strong rally in Italian bonds helped boost support for peripheral assets.
Analysts also attributed the move to a boost for Eurobank, Greece's third-largest lender, on news it will acquire real estate company Grivalia Properties.