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Greece's Alpha Bank in talks with France's Credit Agricole to buy bank

ATHENS--Greece's Alpha Bank says it is in talks with France's Credit Agricole to buy its Greek unit Emporiki Bank.

Alpha said Monday it was in talks to purchase the entire share capital of Emporkiki and that the transaction is expected to be completed by Dec. 31.

Credit Agricole, France's third largest bank, is seeking to sell its Greek unit as concern continues over Greece's financial crisis, which has battered the country's banks and raised questions about its continued membership of the eurozone.

Credit Agricole has already made a 2.3-billion-euro capital injection into Emporiki, and would add another 550 million euros before the transaction was complete to bring the total to 2.85 billion euros. Emporiki's nominal sale price would be 1 euro, the French bank said.

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