Eurobank in Romania

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – EFG Eurobank Ergasias plans to strengthen its position in Romania’s sixth largest bank and increase Banc Post’s market share, officials from the two banks said yesterday. Nicholas Nanopoulos, CEO at EFG Eurobank, told reporters Eurobank plans to exercise an option to buy 8.7 percent in Banc Post from General Electric Capital Corp by 2004. Romania sold its remaining 17 percent stake in Banc Post to Eurobank in a $20 million deal last year, raising the Greek bank’s stake to 36.25 percent. Other shareholders include Banco Portugues de Investimento (BPI), with 17 percent, five Romanian investment companies with 6 percent each and the bank’s employees. David Watson, adviser to Eurobank, said Eurobank and BPI would also take part to the tune of $11 million in a $36 million share capital increase, which includes a $20 million debt-for-equity swap.