MERGER BETWEEN ALPHA BANK AND EUROBANK STALLED

Unexpected difference between the Greek banks Alpha Bank and Eurobank, which engaged at the end of last year in a merger process with major impact in Romania: Alpha announced that it can no longer advance a timetable for the completion of the merger until the Greek debt situation is clarified, while Eurobank, which controls Bancpost on the local market, claims that there are no reasons for delay and pleads for the completion of the process “as soon as possible”, notes Ziarul Financiar. An alarm bell was sounded last week, when although Alpha and Eurobank finally got approval from competition authorities to go ahead with the merger, the two banks were reluctant to welcome the overcoming of this hurdle that had held up consolidation during January. What’s more, they declined to announce a timetable of steps to be taken before the new Alpha Eurobank, which is expected to become Greece’s largest credit institution, is formed.

According to www.zf.ro, the situation cleared up yesterday, but on a negative note: Alpha Bank sent a five-line message to the Athens stock exchange stating that due to current macroeconomic developments in Greece directly affecting the banking sector, it cannot estimate when the merger with Eurobank will take place. Paradoxically, Eurobank sees no reason why the completion of the merger should be delayed, its position was also made public via the exchange. This is the first time since the merger process was launched that the two banks have spoken with different voices.

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