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Greek central bank chief Provopoulos says wants second term

By Harry Papachristou ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece's central bank chief George Provopoulos said on Friday he would accept a second term at the helm of the Bank of Greece <BOGr.AT> if the government offered it to him when his current one expires in June. Asked in an interview on private television station Skai if he wanted to keep his post for another six years, Provopoulos said: "Yes, I am on active service," adding this was a decision for the government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to make.

Greece wants lenders to agree bailout review without bank deal

By Lefteris Papadimas ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece has asked its international lenders to approve its latest bailout review despite an unresolved dispute over how much new capital its banks need, a senior finance ministry official said on Wednesday. Greece no longer expects an overall deal with the lenders by next week, the official said.

Treasury to recoup $3B from sale of 410,000 Ally Financial shares, retains 37 per cent stake

WASHINGTON - The Treasury Department says it plans to sell 410,000 shares of Ally Financial for $3 billion as part of its ongoing effort to recoup the costs of the $700 billion financial bailout. The shares will be offered in a private offering at $7,375 each. After the completion of the stock sale, the department says the U.S. government will have recovered about $15.3 billion, or 89 per cent of the $17.2 billion it provided to Ally during the financial crisis. The government will still hold about 37 per cent of the bank holding company's stock.

Bailout chiefs warn Spain to push on with reforms

International creditors who rescued Spain's tottering banks said Monday the sector was on the way to recovery but warned Madrid to be vigilant as the bailout winds up. "The process of restructuring of banks having received state aid is well underway," the European Commission said in a statement, following its latest visit along with the International Monetary Fund to assess Spain's progress. "Efforts under the program have made the banking system stronger, safer, and leaner, as has important policy progress at the European level," the IMF said in a separate statement.

Slovenian government to face confidence vote on Thursday

By Marja Novak LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - Slovenia's parliament will hold a vote of confidence on Thursday in the government of the small euro zone country which is trying to avoid an international bailout. Analysts expect Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek's center-left government to win the vote, which a parliamentary spokeswoman said on Monday would be linked to amendments to the 2014 budget.

Portugal political crisis rages again as talks break off

By Andrei Khalip and Daniel Alvarenga LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal's main political parties broke off talks on Friday on a "national salvation" pact to ensure an EU/IMF bailout stays on track, leaving it to the president to decide how to proceed. Political turmoil has already forced Lisbon to request a delay in the eighth review of the bailout by its creditors, which was initially due to start last Monday, until the end of August or early September.

EU makes major changes to rules on state aid to banks

By Foo Yun Chee BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Europe overhauled the rules covering state aid to struggling banks on Wednesday, in a major policy shift that will put the burden on shareholders and junior debtholders when it comes to restructuring an unstable institution. From August 1, any bank in the European Union that needs help from the state will first have to present a detailed restructuring plan that ensures its viability before any aid can be disbursed. Currently, aid comes before a restructuring plan.

Slovenia considers privatizations to avoid bailout

By Marja Novak LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - Slovenia is looking to sell its largest telecoms operator and second largest bank, sources said, as it steps up efforts to shore up its finances and avoid an international bailout. The country is racing to convince investors it has a credible strategy for raising the funds it needs to stay solvent, and is due to adopt an economic reform program on Thursday before presenting it to the European Commission.

Slovenia PM vows to meet EU deadline for economic plan

Slovenia vowed Monday to meet a week's end deadline set by Brussels to produce a plan on how to fix a shaky banking system and avoid becoming the next eurozone economy requiring a bailout. "We still have a draft, but by Thursday or, at the latest, by Friday, we will have it completed and corrected," Alenka Bratusek told reporters after meeting members of her coalition. The centre-left premier argued that the budget adopted by the previous centre-right government had led to a situation which was "bad, much worse than originally planned."

Slovenia finance ministry sees privatisation plan in May

LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - Slovenia's finance ministry said on Thursday it expects to submit a privatisation plan to the government in the second week of May to help the country to avoid needing an international bailout. The news contradicted a statement by Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek that a privatisation plan would be revealed as early as this week, which could add to investor frustration over the slow pace of developments and lack of details.
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