Greece's National Bank teams up with EVO on merchant acquiring business

ATHENS, Dec 17 (Reuters) - National Bank of Greece (NBG), one of Greece's largest lenders, has clinched a deal to form a joint venture with EVO Payments (EVOP.O) which will provide merchant acquiring and payment services, it said on Friday.

Under the deal, EVO will purchase 51% of NBG's merchant acquiring business for 158 million euros ($179 million), with NBG offering card acceptance solutions via EVO's products and processing platforms.

Banks in Greece have been working to reduce a pile of about 30 billion euros in bad loans, the legacy of a decade-long financial crisis that shrank the country’s economy by a quarter.

NBG's agreement follows similar moves by other Greek banks which have offloaded their payments infrastructure, including Eurobank (EURBr.AT) and Piraeus Bank (BOPr.AT). read more

The transaction is expected to boost NBG's capital ratio by about 60 basis points, the bank said.

($1 = 0.8825 euros)

Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou Editing by Mark Potter

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