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Credit Agricole’s decision on Emporiki Bank is expected

29 September 2012 / 18:09:13  GRReporter
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 Three major Greek banks – the National Bank, Alpha Bank and Eurobank EFG, are anticipating the big decision of the French group Credit Agricole concerning the transfer of Emporiki Bank. Nothing had been announced by Friday evening. Representatives of the banks believe that the French decision will be announced over the weekend or on Monday morning at the latest, before the markets open, even if an extension has been requested. It is noted that the deadline for the French group to decide on which of the three offers it will choose is 30 September.

The continuous extension of the announcement of the decision reinforces the scepticism about possible ulterior motives of the French group. A retreat should not be excluded either but it is not very likely, as it has already announced and officially committed itself to the transaction. Following the French group’s announcement of its withdrawal from Greece in the summer, the shares of Credit Agricole brought significant profits. Bank officials point out for "Kathimerini" newspaper that any retreat of the French group would have legal consequences.

The head of the French group, Jean Paul Shifle, stressed in a statement last week that the talks with the three contenders were ongoing, recognizing that they might be completed in the coming weeks. He also noted that the negotiations were at a very advanced stage, adding that the three banks had presented very good offers. Asked when the transaction would be completed, he replied that it would take several weeks. Shifle noted that the cost of transfer of Emporiki Bank would be symbolic - one euro. According to banks’ sources, the completion of the contract for the transfer of the bank will accelerate the process of major restructuring of the domestic banking system. Any Greek bank that will acquire Emporiki Bank will make a decisive step to preserve its private nature, as Emporiki Bank will bring capital amounting to 600-700 million euro after the recapitalization. Moreover, it opens the way for the other two major banks to realize the alternative plans they have drawn up to strengthen their capital base.

Tags: Emporiki BankThe National BankAlpha Bank Eurobank Credit Agricole
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