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National Bank of Greece denies Talks with Qatar

National Bank of Greece Says Not in Talk With Qatar

June 30, 2010, 7:06 AM EDT

By Christos Ziotis

June 30 (Bloomberg) — National Bank of Greece SA, the country’s biggest lender, said it’s not in talks to sell a stake to the Qatar Investment Authority.

The sovereign wealth fund may buy a stake of as much as 7 percent in the bank, worth about 250 million euros ($304 million), the Financial Times said yesterday, citing people familiar with the talks. National Bank isn’t in talks with the fund, according to a spokesman for the Athens-based lender. A spokesman for the QIA declined to comment.

The bank “doesn’t intend to raise equity capital, including in particular through a share capital increase on a non-preemptive basis,” the lender said in an e-mailed statement today. “Reports that National Bank of Greece is seeking a strategic investor aren’t accurate.”

Greece’s four largest banks have slumped an average of 44 percent this year in Athens trading, partly on concern clients would pull funds amid the country’s debt crisis. National Bank of Greece last month reported inflows into its home unit of 1.1 billion euros in May, paring this year’s total outflow to 1.2 billion euros.

National Bank advanced 4.8 percent to 9.22 euros as of 1:56 p.m. in Athens trading, snapping a six day decline

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