The European Commission said it has approved a plan under which the viable parts of nationalised Austrian bank Hypo Group Alpe Adria will be sold and the rest of its operations will be wound down.

Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said today that the decision would "restore a level playing field" and minimise the cost to taxpayers as much as possible.

HGAA began receiving aid from the Austrian government in 2008, and eventually received aid and guarantees worth well over €4 billion before it was fully nationalised.

The commission approved the May sale of HGAA's core Austrian operations to Anadi Financial Holdings for €65.5m. Its operations in Southeastern Europe must be sold by June 2015, the Commission said.