NBG denies talk of merger with QIA

National Bank denied yesterday it was seeking a strategic investor after a report said that Qatar was in talks to buy a 5-7 percent stake in it. ‘Press reports that NBG is seeking a strategic investor are not accurate,’ the bank, Greece’s largest, said in a statement. The Financial Times website had said that Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), was in talks about acquiring a strategic stake of 5-7 percent in NBG, worth about 250 million euros. The Greek lender reiterated that it was not planning to raise capital. ‘National Bank of Greece… does not intend to raise equity capital, including in particular through a share capital increase on a nonpre-emptive basis in favor of a new shareholder,’ NBG said. NBG shares rose more than 3 percent in early trade on speculation of a merger deal before ending 1.25 percent higher at 8.91 euros.

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