Greek Banks Suspend Merger Talks

The National Bank of Greece and Eurobank have failed to raise the capital required to merge, causing their shares to drop 30% on Monday.  The merger would have resulted in the biggest bank in Greece with assets valued at 180 billion euros.  The Bank of Greece, the country’s central bank, revealed on Sunday that it was notified by the two banks of their inability to ensure that 10% of their share offerings would be taken up by the private sector.  Talks about the potential merger are expected to resume, with a state banking support fund expected to decide on whether or not the merger should proceed by the end of April.

The decision on a merger like this should be huge news for Greece.  The country is still working on the negotiation of its compliance with the terms of its 130 billion euro international bailout.  Meanwhile, Finance Minister Yannis Stournara has guaranteed that there would be no further austerity such as cuts to salaries and pensions.

Written by: Constantine Kostikas

Source: The New York Times

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