Two more banks to bid for Emporiki

Two more banks to bid for Emporiki

ATHENS - Agence France-Presse
Two more banks to bid for Emporiki

A woman speaks on her mobile as she waits to enter a branch of Emporiki. AP photo

Two of Greece’s largest commercial banks said they had submitted bids ahead of a Wednesday deadline to buy Emporiki, the Greek subsidiary of France’s Credit Agricole bank.

Top Greek lender National Bank said it had made an offer without providing details, while number three Eurobank said it had made a binding offer for 100 percent of Emporiki.

Greece’s number two lender Alpha Bank submitted a bid on July 31. Credit Agricole, one of the biggest banks in Europe by capitalization, put its Greek subsidiary up for sale last month. It declined to comment on the bids for Emporiki.

Emporiki has cost Credit Agricole more than 10 billion euros since it took control of the mid-sized bank in 2006 and according to Greek banking sources it is need of more capital like other Greek banks.

A Greek banking source said earlier this month Emporiki’s recapitalisation should be done by Credit Agricole and that the bank likely needed around 3 billion euros.

Greece’s top four banks have already received 18 billion out of 50 billion euros promised for recaptilization as part the country’s latest international bailout, which included a writedown of the value of government bonds that hit bank balance sheets hard.