ECONOMY

Credit Agricole secures hold of Emporiki

More social insurance funds yesterday announced their acceptance of Credit Agricole’s 25-euros-per-share offer for Emporiki Bank and said they would sell stakes totaling 22.4 percent of its share capital, according to data supplied by the Employment and Social Protection Ministry. The development means that France’s biggest bank now secures 60 percent of Emporiki shares, having initially set a minimum take-up of 40 percent. The deadline for acceptance of the offer expired yesterday, after Emporiki employees’ welfare and health fund, backed by the Federation of Bank Union Employees (OTOE), charged that the decision to sell its stake in the bank had been made illegally. Representatives said they took legal action, claiming that five of the nine members of the board had been absent from the meeting. Employment Minister Savvas Tsitouridis rejected the claim as unfounded. Credit Agricole’s offer for 100 percent of Emporiki valued Greece’s fifth-biggest lender at 3.3 billion euros. The Public Servants’ Union (ADEDY) voted against the sale of more than 1 million shares of Emporiki owned by its supplementary insurance fund, arguing that after Credit Agricole’s securing of the minimum 40 percent, the share’s price was certain to rise above 25 euros in the short term.