France’s Credit Agricole says it will take a two billion euro hit on the sale of its loss-making Greek banking arm Emporiki.
Rival Greek lender Alpha Bank has agreed to buy Emporiki for the symbolic sum of one euro.
Credit Agricole is also paying 550 million euros to Alpha to take Emporiki off its hands; that is on top of the 2.3 billion euros France’s third-largest bank was forced to inject into Emporiki in July.
The sale closes the final chapter in its disastrous six-year-long investment in Greece with huge losses following the eurozone debt crisis.
The deal is expected to be finalised by the end of the year.
While Credit Agricole is seen as being able to take the hit without calling on its parent group of deposit-rich regional cooperative banks for more capital, its chief financial officer refused to comment on the possibility of a future cash call.
“This is not a question for today,” CFO Bernard Delpit told an analyst conference call on Wednesday, asked if the bank would seek a capital increase.