Talk of National, Alpha Bank merger grows; stocks rise

Talk that National Bank, the country’s largest lender, is in talks to merge with peer Alpha, grew late on Friday, pushing the Athens bourse higher, brokers said.

“In the last 30 minutes there has been growing talk of this deal going ahead. We haven’t seen such intense speculation of a possible bank deal since October,» a broker told Kathimerini English Edition.

A source at the Athens bourse confimred that trading in the two bank shares had been suspended on Friday.

The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index was rising 1.22 percent to 1,682.90 points.