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The French get rid of their Greek banks

29 August 2012 / 15:08:33  GRReporter
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French banks are generally getting rid of their Greek subsidiaries. The biggest French bank BNP Paribas closed its Greek subsidiaries a few months ago because of the losses incurred in the local market.
    It became known a few weeks ago that Alpha Bank made Credit Agricole a lucrative offer for the purchase of Emporiki Bank. The other two major Greek banks - National Bank of Greece and Eurobank EFG made offers to the French bank as well, immediately after Yiannis Costopoulos’ institution. The deal seems to be a serious game of nerves between the French and Greek bankers, because Emporiki Bank can prove a very tempting prey depending on the terms of its recapitalization.
    So, the French are not rushing as they are willing to maximize the profit from the sale of Emporiki Bank. The Board of Credit Agricole was supposed to take the decision on Monday but on Tuesday, it became clear that the decision would take about two weeks. On the other hand, Greek bankers know that the management of Credit Agricole is willing to get rid of Emporiki Bank that has brought damages much higher than the stock value of the bank and is already affecting the value of the shares of the French group itself. So, Greek financiers are not worried about a few weeks delay of the transaction.
    In an interview with the French newspaper Les Echos, CEO of Credit Agricole, Jean-Paul Shifle acknowledged that the transaction affects many interests. "We have not yet decided which of the three offers to accept, because negotiations continue and they also involve many side players such as the central banks of Greece and France, the European Central Bank, the Greek Financial Stability Fund, the European Agency for Competition," he explained.
    Reuters reported today that another influential French bank with big investments in Greece, Societe Generale, is already negotiating with the fourth largest Greek bank Piraeus the sale of its subsidiary Geniki Bank. "Negotiations are underway," an anonymous source told the agency without specifying the stage of talks. Piraeus Bank acquired Agricultural Bank only a month ago.

Tags: Greek banksEmpoiriki BankGeniki BankFrench banksBNP Paribas Credit Agricole Societe Generale
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