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Greek bank bid rumoured

Marion Dakers
GREECE’S National Bank was said to be in talks with Qatar over selling a small stake to the Gulf state yesterday, though a source close to the issue later denied the reports.

“National Bank never had talks about selling a five to seven per cent stake in a non-pre-emptive rights basis,” the source in Greece said.

He said such an issue would favour one shareholder above others. Qatar already owns just under one per cent of the bank.

The National Bank and Qatar Investment Authority did not respond to requests for comment. Reported advisors Morgan Stanley made no comment.

The news comes as 12,000 people joined marches in Athens during a 24-hour strike, with riot police firing teargas at protestors.

Seven police officers were hurt and six demonstrators were arrested in protests against austerity measures.