NBG denies interest in Cyprus bank

NICOSIA (Reuters) – The National Bank of Greece (NBG) denied news reports yesterday it was considering the acquisition of Hellenic Bank to expand its foothold in the Cypriot market. NBG has an estimated 6 percent market share on the island, where banking is dominated by local institutions. «NBG is not looking to buy any bank in Cyprus,» a senior National Bank executive told Reuters. The daily Politis newspaper in Cyprus reported NBG was considering acquisitions to gain market share and had sounded out Hellenic, the third-largest Cypriot bank. One of Hellenic’s major shareholders is the Orthodox Church of Cyprus. «As far as the Church is concerned, I deny this. I am not aware of such a thing,» said Bishop Chrysostomos, a senior cleric.