Piraeus chief in favor of bank mergers

Piraeus Bank President Michalis Sallas voiced his support for lenders joining forces, while expressing his optimism about the future of Greek economy.

Speaking on Thursday during an event for the start of trading for the new shares of his bank after the recent capital increase, Sallas once again put his weight behind mergers in the banking sector, stressing that they will bring about necessary economies of scale.

He did add, however, that conditions have to mature first, and that it will take a carefully studied plan and some good intentions for such a scheme to work. ?Nothing can be done under pressure or without planning,? he stated.

Sallas estimated that the solution expected to come from a European Union level for the debt crisis will have a positive impact on Greece: «Had we not believed so, we would not have proceeded to a share capital increase,» he explained.

He branded the recent successful capital increases by Piraeus and National Bank as «a vote of confidence,» and expressed his belief that no Greek lender will experience problems in the next stress tests, though he had some reservations as the terms of these tests must become known first.

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