September 9, 2010 / 10:51 AM / 9 years ago

Greece's ATEbank prefers merger with state banks-chair

ATHENS, Sept 9 (Reuters) - The head of Greece’s ATEbank AGBr.AT favours merging the state-controlled lender with Hellenic Postbank, Attica Bank and the Loans & Consignments Fund instead of being sold to Piraeus Bank, he said on Thursday.

“Forming a state-controlled banking pillar which would consolidate ATEbank, Hellenic Postbank (TT) GPSr.AT, Attica Bank (BOAr.AT) and the Loans & Consignments Fund would benefit the Greek economy,” ATEbank Governor Theodore Pantalakis told Reuters.

Greece’s socialist government has called on banks to regroup and consolidate to better cope with an adverse macroeconomic environment as the country’s debt crisis which has made them dependent on the European Central Bank (ECB) for liquidity.

ATEbank is being sought by Piraeus Bank (BOPr.AT), which has offered 701 million euros in cash to buy government stakes in it and TT. The offer is being assessed by the government and its advisers — Lazard, HSBC and Deutsche Bank. [ID:nLDE67P194] (Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas, writing by George Georgiopoulos)

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