Piraeus to wrap up takeover of Cypriot banks in Greece by noon

Greece's Piraeus Bank expects to conclude deals to take over the Cypriot banks operating in Greece by noon on Tuesday, Greece's third-largest lender by assets said.

On Friday Greece's bank bailout fund picked Piraeus to acquire the Greek operations of troubled Cypriot lenders Bank of Cyprus, Cyprus Popular Bank and possibly Hellenic Bank to shield the country's banking system from fallout from the Cyprus crisis.

"The signing of agreements to acquire the networks of Cypriot banks in Greece is expected to be completed by noon (on Tuesday) at the latest in order to sort out remaining technical details," Piraeus Bank said in a statement.

The bank said it was up to the managements of the three Cypriot lenders whether their branches will open for business before the signing of the agreements.

Cypriot banks hold 8 percent of Greek banking deposits and 10 percent of loans. They have about 300 branches in Greece. They have been closed since March 19.

(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by David Cowell)