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Greek Alpha Bank takeover of 47 pct Turkey's Alternatif Bank blocked - brokers
08.08.07, 2:59 AM ET



ATHENS (Thomson Financial) - Greece's Alpha Bank takeover of 47 pct of Turkey's Alternatif Bank (Abank) to be purchased from the Anadolou Group - first announced in November 2006 - has been blocked by regulatory authorities in Turkey, brokers close to the matter told Thomson Financial Group late yesterday.

An analyst based in London at an international brokerage firm, who did not want to be identified, said a 'differently structured deal may get past regulators, so this may not be the final word. In any event the deal - a first step for Alpha in the Turkish market - is for a modest amount of money. Even if it does not succeed and there is short term pressure in the stock, over the medium term it is unlikely to have a significant impact'.

In November 2006, the Greek bank said it would form a 50:50 holding company to hold both its 47 pct stake and Anadolou's 47 pct stake in Abank. The holding company also planned to own a 95 pct holding of Alease, an 100 pct indirect stake in brokerage firm Alternatif Yatirim, and a 45 pct stake in listed closed end investment fund Alternatif Yatirim Ortkaligi.

Alpha Bank was also planning to launch a public offer with Anadolou to buy the remaining stakes in Abank and Alease.

Completion of the transaction, which valued Alternatif at 384.3 mln eur, was initially expected in the first quarter of 2007, and has been delayed to date. Alpha had recently said it would get the green light by the third quarter or at the latest by the end of this year.

Local sources said Alpha Bank is likely to issue a press release early today, to clarify the matter.

nick.skrekas@thomson.com

ns/jag

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