November 23, 2012 / 6:51 PM / 7 years ago

Greece's NBG shareholders approve Eurobank offer

ATHENS, Nov 23 (Reuters) - National Bank of Greece shareholders approved the bank’s offer to buy all of rival Eurobank and create the country’ biggest lender.

NBG made a share-swap offer in early October to buy all of Eurobank, offering 58 new shares for every 100 Eurobank shares.

Friday’s vote, a formality, came after two previous shareholder meetings did not achieve a quorum.

Greek banks are under pressure to merge after suffering steep losses from the country’s debt restructuring, heavy deposit withdrawals and rising bad loans, but short of cash, they have no option but to swap shares in order to merge.

A merger would need approval from the Bank of Greece and the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF), the bank support fund that has started to recapitalise the country’s viable banks.

Once the share exchange is completed, NBG shareholders will own 75 percent of the combined entity, with Eurobank shareholders owning the rest. (Reporting by Karolina Tagaris; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)

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