ATHENS, April 25 Alpha Bank, Greece's
fourth-largest lender, said on Friday it was looking into
proposals to expand, including the possible acquisition of
Citibank's Greek operations.
The country's debt crisis has prompted foreign banks,
including France's Credit Agricole and Societe
Generale, to sell their local units to Greek banks in
"In the context of implementing its business plan and acting
in the best interest of its shareholders, the bank periodically
explores a wide range of options that serve the plan," Alpha
said in response to press reports that it was close to clinching
a deal to buy the local operations of Citibank.
"In any event, as is standard practice, the bank will
proceed with any requisite announcements," Alpha said.
Greece's top four banks control about 90 percent of its
banking market after a wave of consolidation and the
winding-down of smaller banks that were deemed not viable.
Citibank, which started shipping and corporate lending
operations in Greece in 1964 and expanded into retail banking in
the 1980s, runs a network of about 21 branches across the
Citibank officials could not immediately be reached for
Alpha acquired Emporiki Bank from Credit Agricole in 2012.
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; editing by Jane Baird)