Piraeus Bank ‘close to’ buying SocGen unit Geniki

Greece’s fourth-largest lender Piraeus Bank is close to a deal to buy Societe Generale’s (SOGN.PA) Greek subsidiary Geniki Bank, Greek media reported on Wednesday.

Talks between the two banks are at an advanced stage and a deal could be reached as early as this week, the Proto Thema newspaper said on its website, without citing sources. France’s SocGen would retain a minority stake in Piraeus, it added.

A SocGen spokeswoman declined to comment on the report while Piraeus was not immediately available for comment.

If successful, the deal would come a month after Piraeus took over the healthy chunk of ailing state lender ATEbank in a deal that will benefit its balance sheet and help it cope with the country’s debt crisis.