August 23, 2017 / 5:33 PM / a year ago

Sale of Greece's National Bank's South African unit gets green light- competition watchdog

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 23 (Reuters) - South Africa’s competition watchdog on Wednesday said it had given a green light to the sale of the South African Bank of Athens (SABA), owned by Greece’s National Bank (NBG), to a subsidiary of AFGRI Holdings and Fairfax Africa Investment.

Greece’s second-largest lender in March agreed to sell all its 99.8 percent stake in SABA to AFGRI Holdings as part of an EU-approved restructuring plan.

The Competition Tribunal said it had approved the merger on Tuesday, giving GroCapital control of SABA, with South Africa’s finance minister indicating he will not oppose the merger.

SABA, established in 1947, provides banking services to medium-sized local businesses. AFGRI is an agricultural, financial services and food processing company operating in South Africa and 14 other countries in Africa.

National Bank, late last year sold its United Bulgarian Bank to Belgium’s KBC Group in a 610 million euro ($720 million) deal. ($1 = 0.8467 euros) (Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg, editing by David Evans)

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