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Eurobank-Alpha Bank merger deal welcomed

30. August 2011. | 10:38 10:54

Source: ANA

Under the terms of the merger deal, Eurobank biggest share-holders, the Latsis family, and Alpha Bank's major shareholders, the Costopoulos family, will hold 13 percent and 4 percent stakes, respectively, in the new bank, while Qatar's Paramount Services Holding will have a 17-percent stake.

Athens-listed Alpha Bank president Yiannis Costopoulos on Monday welcomed, as a "major step forward", the bank's pending merger with Athens-listed EFG Eurobank, which was officially announced earlier in the day.

Costopoulos told a press conference that "we are creating the biggest Greek bank ... It is a major step forward in the rationalisation of the (banking) system. We always said the (domestic) banking system has too many banks," he said.

Costopoulos added that a "European-size" bank was being created, the 22nd or 23rd in ranking in Europe, due to "the first foreign investment in this country in many years, the investment of Qatar, which comprises a vote of confidence for Greece".

From all aspects, he continued, "it is a very important step".

Eurobank president Timos Christodoulou, in turn, called the new bank to emerge from the merger a "basis for the recovery of the economy when we exit the crisis, and a developmental vehicle for Greece", adding that Qatari participation will serve as an example for other economies.

Christodoulou said the new credit organisation will be a model for other similar initiatives, "so that we can develop with a dynamism that characterises Greece".

Alpha Bank CEO Dimitris Mantzounis said the "key to success" was that the two banks "speak the same language, share the same principles, the same values", adding that the new bank will be top in Greece in all banking activities.

"We have the most desired international shareholder with us, and aspire to synergies of 650 million euros over the next three years," he added.

Bank of Greece Gov. George Provopoulos called the merger deal "the first landmark step in the process of redesigning the Greek banking map".

The Bank of Greece (BOG) chief added that the substantial reinforcement of the capital of the new bank, the friendly agreement between the two partner banks, the participation of a powerful foreign investor and the exploitation of synergies constitute an optimistic prospect for the Greek economy and banking system.

Provopoulos reiterated that such strategic moves contribute decisively to boosting the competitiveness of the banking system and fiscal stability.

Greek government vice president and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos welcomed the deal as a "positive development that shows the dynamism and prospects of the Greek banking system", adding that the initiative proves that the current crisis can serve as an opportunity for structural moves that give impetus to the fiscal sphere and also the sphere of the real economy.

He also described as significant the participation in the new banking scheme of Qatar "which is investing in Greece and sending internationally a message of confidence in the potential of the Greek economy".

Earlier, Development, Competitiveness & Shipping minister Mihalis Chryssohoidis said the merger of the two banks, when completed, will give a new mark to the market inside and outside Greece, the mark of confidence that the Greek economy has the prerequisites for recovery and viability.

Replying to a press question, the minister said that in the coming period the country will require a healthy banking system that will provide the necessary liquidity to the market.

Under the terms of the merger deal, Eurobank biggest share-holders, the Latsis family, and Alpha Bank's major shareholders, the Costopoulos family, will hold 13 percent and 4 percent stakes, respectively, in the new bank, while Qatar's Paramount Services Holding will have a 17-percent stake.

Exceptional bourse rally fuelled by banks' merger

Stocks on Monday posted their biggest single-day increase in the history of the Athens Stock Exchange, lifting off on the heels of the Alpha Bank-Eurobank merger deal and erasing most of last week's loses at the bourse, especially in the banking sector.

Alpha Bank's share price posted gains of 30 pct; 29.48 pct for Eurobank.

The general index was up 14.37 pct to shoot past the 1,000-point mark, closing at 1,006.59.

Turnover was an improved 86.77 million euros.

The Big Cap index posted an eyebrow-raising gain of 17.79 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 15.02 pct higher and the Small Cap index was up 12.62 pct.

All of the sector indices moved higher, with banks (29.12 pct), Financial Services (26.17) and Utilities (22.26) posting the biggest percentage gains of the day.

Broadly, advancers outpaced decliners by 171 to 13 with another 22 issues remained unchanged.

Sector indices ended as follows:











Oil & Gas:


Personal & Household:


Raw Materials:


Travel & Leisure:








Food & Beverages:








Financial Services:


The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, Bank of Cyprus and OTE.

Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:

Alpha Bank:


Public Power Corp (PPC):


HBC Coca Cola:


Hellenic Petroleum:


National Bank of Greece:


EFG Eurobank Ergasias:






Bank of Piraeus:





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29. August - 04. September 2011.