ECONOMY

Merger would help both Attica and Postal banks

A merger between Attica Bank and the Postal Savings Bank (TT) would be beneficial for both but no decision about a linkup has yet been made, Attica’s chief executive said yesterday. Shares in Attica rose as much as 10.4 percent on reports that the government planned to merge the small bank with unlisted TT to create a new major player in the market. Attica Chairman Costas Stamoulis told Reuters the bank was waiting for the results of a study reviewing its strategic options. «At this time, the study is in progress and it will be completed this month,» he said. Among the options being considered in the study are a merger with TT, a strategic cooperation with some other Greek or foreign bank and the continuation of development as a stand-alone institution. The State has been mulling its options on TT, which is on its privatization list for this year. Analysts say TT, with its national network and large pool of deposits estimated at around 9 billion euros, is an attractive target for Greek banks. Asked about the possibility of a merger with TT, Stamoulis said, «It is something that is good for both parties.» The State indirectly controls 58 percent of Attica Bank, with 41 percent held by TSMEDE, the engineers pension fund, and 17 percent by TT. (Reuters)