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Monday, 21 October 2019

NBG asks CBE for more time for Bank Audi acquisition approval amid employee dispute

M&A WATCH- NBG needs more time to soften things up with its staff before Bank Audi acquisition can get the go-ahead. The National Bank of Greece (NBG) has asked the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) for a grace period until the end of October to resolve a disagreement with employees over its sale to Bank Audi, a central bank source told Masrawy. The CBE was expected to green-light the acquisition last month, however a pay dispute between NBG and its staff led it to postpone its approval. Employees are demanding that the Greek bank pay them their legally-entitled compensation — equivalent of two months’ salary for each year they have worked in the company — before it is sold to Bank Audi. Bank Audi had confirmed to the central bank that it intended to keep on NBG’s staff, appoint them to the same positions, and maintain their current salaries. The CBE is legally obligated to insure that employee rights are protected before it can sign off on the agreement.

Background: Bank Audi announced back in May that it would acquire NBG’s Egypt arm, including a book “mostly of Egyptian-risk loans, deposits and securities (total assets of c. EUR 110 mn), a branch network of 17 branches and c. 250 employees.” NBG decided to exit the market last year as part of a wider plan to reduce its overseas presence under an EU-supervised restructuring.

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