Greece's Eurobank, National Bank Join Tussle for EmporikiFinance | August 3, 2012, Friday // 11:40| views
A man uses the ATM of an Emporiki Bank in Athens on 23 September 2011. Photo by EPA/BGNES
Greece's Eurobank has joined the race to buy Emporiki Bank of Greece, the Greek unit of France's Credit Agricole SA.
"Eurobank notifies the investing public that it is examining the possibility of a buyout of Emporiki Bank and that it has not submitted a buyout proposal," Eurobank said in a statement.
Meanwhile the National Bank of Greece SA, Greece's largest lender, which said it hadn't submitted a binding offer for Emporiki, even though it was in talks for a possible alliance with the lender.
Earlier this week Greece's Alpha Bank said it had made an offer for Emporiki.
The interest in Emporiki comes after Piraeus Bank SA, Greece's fourth-largest lender by assets, said last month that it will pay EUR 95 M to acquire the healthy assets and liabilities of troubled state lender ATEbank.
French bank Credit Agricole announced in the middle of June it has taken control of assets in Albania, Romania and Bulgaria of its Greek subsidiary Emporiki Bank amid concerns over a possible Greek euro exit.
"This intra-group transaction is the last step of a process developed since the beginning of 2009 to reinforce links between Credit Agricole SA and Emporiki Group's subsidiaries," Emporiki said in a statement.
"This agreement will also allow Emporiki to further rationalize its corporate structure and reinforce its focused efforts to effectively deal with the current circumstances and challenges."
A month later French bank Credit Agricole officially took control of the Bulgarian assets of its Greek subsidiary Emporiki Bank.
Now that the procedure is complete, the Bulgarian unit of Emporiki Bank has direct access to funding from the French bank and adopted the name Credit Agricole with its trademark and logo.
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