Greek bank Alpha to buy unit from Credit Agricole

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's Alpha Bank says it has agreed to buy loss-making competitor Emporiki Bank from French lender Credit Agricole for the symbolic sum of €1 ($1.3).

Credit Agricole, France's third-largest bank, is selling its Greek business due to concern over the country's financial crisis, which has caused massive losses on loans and government bond holdings. Greek banks are trying to consolidate to weather the financial difficulties.

Alpha said Tuesday that terms of the sale are unchanged since it announced the negotiations earlier this month. It will buy Emporiki for the token price of €1 after the French bank adds another €550 million ($717.5 million) to a July capital injection into Emporiki of €2.3 billion ($3 billion).

The deal is to be finalized by the end of the year.

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