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Stoyanov, Nikolay

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Standart - Bulgaria | 29/08/2011

Qatar wants Greek megabank

Under pressure from the debt crisis, the Greek financial institutes Alpha Bank and Eurobanks plan to merge by December, with a fresh injection of capital from Qatar. Arab investors are taking advantage of the situation to claim a stake in the European banking sector, writes the daily Standart: "Both banks have plumped for the cliché: Together we are stronger. But that wouldn't be the case if the investment fund from Qatar wasn't on board too. Right now the fund has a 4.5 percent stake in Alpha Bank, but it is widely expected to invest a further 500 million euros in the newly created bank to become the majority shareholder. The Greeks could have come up with this idea earlier to solve the liquidity problems of their banks. The petrodollars have long been seeking ways to move into the European banking sector. This happened for the first time in south-eastern Europe when the state fund of Oman bought up shares in Bulgaria's Corporate Commercial Bank. A clear sign of the Arab oil sheiks' interest in this region."

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