Banks await Emporiki verdict on Friday

French lender Credit Agricole is expected to release an announcement about the fate of its Greek subsidiary, Emporiki Bank within Friday, even though one of its top officials gave the impression on Thursday that the decision over whether the French group would choose National, Alpha or Eurobank as a buyer would be postponed again.

Reuters reported on Thursday that the group?s chief executive, Jean-Paul Chifflet (pictured), said talks with the three suitors are at an advanced stage and they have all made very good offers. Asked when the transaction would be concluded, he replied, ?Within a few weeks.?

However, Greek bank officials said on Thursday evening that they had heard no references to a delay and that it was very likely the chosen bid would be announced on Friday, probably via a public statement.

Greek authorities have given the French group until Sunday to confirm the winning bidder.

Credit Agricole?s CEO made it clear that the price will be symbolic, at just 1 euro.

Analysts agree that the winner of the tender will boost its capital base considerably.

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