30 Aug 2011

Two of Greece's biggest banks to merge

2:07 pm on 30 August 2011

Two of Greece's biggest banks will merge, in a move analysts say will trigger more deals to shore up banks battered by the debt crisis and recession.

Alpha Bank and Eurobank EFG will form the largest bank in southeast Europe, aided by a capital injection from the Qatar Investment Authority.

Both banks reported first-half losses because of their exposure to Greek government debt.

Qatar Investment Authority will hold about 16% of the merged entity.

The BBC reports that the Greek government has encouraged banks to pool resources to help them cope with the country's debt crisis.