Greece's Eurobank to buy Alpha Bank branches in Bulgaria

GMT 19:23 2015 Friday ,17 July

Arab Today, arab today Greece's Eurobank to buy Alpha Bank branches in Bulgaria

Alpha bank branch
Athens - AFP

Greece's Eurobank has reached a preliminary agreement with another top Greek lender Alpha Bank to buy out its Bulgarian branches, a joint statement said Friday.

"The Proposed Transaction covers the entire banking operations of Alpha Bank's Branch in Bulgaria, which consist of deposits worth 254 million euro and gross loans worth 410 million euro," the statement said.

Under the deal, some 80 Alpha branches will be absorbed by Eurobank's Bulgarian subsidiary Postbank, giving the latter a network of more than 200 branches throughout the country, with over 3,000 employees.

The lenders said the deal was set to be finalised by the end of 2015.

The move is part of "restructuring plans for Alpha Bank and Eurobank, as approved by the European Commission in 2014, which specify, among other things, that each bank should focus its operations only on its core markets," the statement said.

The country's recently-recapitalised lenders are under pressure by European authorities to concentrate on the domestic market.

Greek daily Kathimerini, which broke the story Friday, said bank executives expect the banks' presence abroad to be "drastically" reduced over the next two years, excepting markets where they have a strategic presence.

Greece's biggest lender National Bank has been under pressure to sell 40 percent of its Turkish subsidiary Finansbank, the daily said.

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