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Alpha reaches deal to manage red loans

Alpha and Greece's other big banks remain burdened by large problem loan portfolios after a deep recession which pushed the jobless rate to nearly 27%, and they continue to make provisions for impaired credit.

The joint venture, Aktua Hellas, will be 45% owned by Alpha and 55% by Aktua, pending regulatory approvals.

"Aktua Hellas will specialize in managing non-performing assets to accelerate friendly resolutions and reach consensual and non-judicial solutions," Alpha Bank said.

Alpha's non-performing loans stood at 33.6% of its loan book at the end of September.

Aktua, founded in 2008 by Santander, specializes in loan, property and facility management. It has 14.2 billion euros of assets under management and its clients include Spain's largest banks.