Morgan Stanley Faces Charges Over Greek NBG-AlphaBank Merger Talks

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 Greek court officials A Greek prosecutor brought charges against Morgan Stanley for alleged inside trading in connection with the planned deal between National Bank of Greece and Alpha Bank in January 2011, a merger plan that failed at the end. According to Greek and international media, charges were brought after investigation into Greek media reports and intervention of Capital Market Commission. Reports claimed, Morgan Stanley had bought shares in Alpha Bank during the merger talks and that  Alpha shares gained 33%, while the shared of NBG went up with 18%.

The offenses are for “privileged information” and “false statement to Stock Exchange” and are based on the dual role of Morgan Stanley: to act as adviser of NBG and at the same time to increase its percentages in Alpha Bank shares.

Morgan Stanley acted as adviser for NBG during the merger talks.

Morgan Stanley faces charges over Greek bank talks

Greek court officials say a prosecutor has brought misdemeanor charges against Morgan Stanley for alleged insider trading in connection with a planned local bank merger.

The charges made public Wednesday concern a failed takeover bid for Alpha Bank by National Bank of Greece in early 2011. Morgan Stanley acted as an adviser for NBG in its bid.

Court officials said the prosecution followed an investigation into reports that Morgan Stanley bought shares in Alpha during a period from before the merger talks were made public until shortly after they collapsed. The officials said Alpha’s shares gained 33 per cent at the time.

The charges, if proven, carry a maximum 5-year prison sentence. They did not name specific Morgan Stanley officials, whom a further investigation will seek to identify. (Associated Press)