Credit Agricole faces obstacles to sale of Greek unit Emporiki

City A.M. Reporter
FRENCH bank Credit Agricole could pay an extra €600m to €700m (£478m to £558m) into its Greek Emporiki unit before it can sell it, according to reports yesterday.

The French lender, which is trying to exit Greece after the country’s banks were badly hit by the sovereign debt crisis across the single currency, has already injected €2.3bn into its local unit.

Greece’s central bank is demanding that the group recapitalises its loss-making unit, acquired in 2006, by another €600m to €700m before it will approve the sale, the Wall Street Journal said.

A spokeswoman for Credit Agricole declined to comment yesterday.

Credit Agricole has received three offers by Greek banks National Bank, Eurobank and Alpha Bank, which would pay just €1 for the unit.

A decision is expected later this week, or as early as the French lender’s board meeting tomorrow.

The bank posted a surprise quarterly profit last month, helped by its smaller exposure to the Eurozone.