Of Special Interest


[x] [x]

3rd February 2012

Alpha / EFG Eurobank merger difficulty

The merger between Alpha Bank and EFG Eurobank appears in difficulty, with Alpha Bank showing the most concern. The shares in both banks were suspended for a period following a statement from Alpha that it was unable to say when a merger may be completed because of the debt crisis. In a somewhat contradictory statement EFG Eurobank said that it saw no reason for delay.

The statement led to a rise in the Alpha stock price and a fall in the EFG Eurobank atock before the shares were suspended. The exchange operators said that "Today’s announcements lack adequate information to secure the smooth operation of the market and protect investors.”

Alpha have a reasonable accounting point - how can you value the assets of either bank with the current uncertainties over Greek sovereign debt and indeed how many corporates will be able to survive? Accounting points may not be at the top of the government or central bank's agenda however. Alpha is Greece's second largest lender and EFG Eurobank the third.