ATHENS Jan 7 Greece's securities regulator on
Monday gave conditional approval to National Bank to
buy rival Eurobank.
This will allow National Bank, the country's biggest lender,
to launch a formal offer for Eurobank through a share swap.
"The board approved on conditions the prospectus regarding
the public tender offer by National Bank of Greece," the Capital
Markets Commission said without giving further details.
In October, National Bank (NBG) offered to buy Eurobank to
create the country's biggest bank, setting in motion a
long-expected wave of consolidation in the banking sector,
battered by rising bad debts and losses from the country's debt
NBG is offering 58 new shares for every 100 shares of
Eurobank. About 43.6 percent of the Eurobank's shareholder base
has already accepted the offer, NBG has said.
The regulator was not immediately available to comment
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos. Editing by Jane Merriman)