Saturday, March 30, 2013

National Bank & Eurobank - nothing like blowing up a big deal at the last moment!

I haven't followed the planned merger between National Bank and Eurobank in detail but it seems like this has been in the works for a very long time. Over a year perhaps? Of late, I was under the impression that the deal had been closed and was done.

Surprise, surprise! According to this article from the Ekathimerini, the Troika is now opposing this merger. Now, to create uncertainty virtually at the last minute of a merger process will really do the Greek financial sector some good as regards investors' or depositors' confidence!

Has the Troika not been around during all this time that the merger had been discussed and negotiated?


  1. What we don't know is the source of the journalist's information. Given the tenor in which the Troika's objections are presented I'm guessing the Troika itself.

    I would suspect the Troika's objections have been known to the Greek government for months, and that its has been one of the sticking points between the Government and the Troika in their negotiations.

    The fact that the ECB etc have 'approved' the merger goes the point made on this blog just the other day about "boxes being ticked, 't's being crossed and 'i's being dotted".

    They, the Troika, have gone public so that if any of the risks they identify come to pass then the EU/ECB/IMF cannot be accused of not doing there job.

    And by going public the Troika has done Greece a favor, its identified the risks. Its now up to those implementing the merger to do whatever it takes to mitigate the risks and prove that the Troika's concerns were unfounded. It would be helpful if the Greek government told us in advance how its going about doing that.

    Timing aside I intuitively agree with Troika's reasons for opposing the merger. I would add - mergers are fraught with difficulties at the best of times. I find it hard believe they are easier when they are forced on institutions by decree at the worst of times.


  2. Well, I guess it's official that the merger is off:

    The Troika-reasons being cited for calling the merger off make actually a lot of sense. The only question is --- why in the world didn't one think of those reasons before the whole process got started???