ETHNIKI Insurance close to becoming an American-Dutch owned company

ETHNIKI Insurance's sale entered its final stage once the National Bank of Greece's board approved the sale of a majority stake in it to American-Dutch consortium Calamos-EXIN, a banker close to the deal told Reuters.

NBG is selling the unit as part of a restructuring plan approved by the European Union to exit non-banking operations and focus on core banking. Yet, no details are still known with regard the agreed sale price or other terms. Details are expected to be announced at the bank's annual meeting on Friday.

U.S.-based Calamos Investments, which has USD 20 billion under management, and EXIN Partners, a Netherlands-based investor focused on insurance, reinsurance and asset management, were bidding for at least 75% of ETHNIKI Insurance. Calamos-EXIN was competing against three interested Chinese groups: Fosun, Shanghai-based Gongbao and Wintime.

Founded in 1891, ETHNIKI Insurance is Greece's oldest insurer and provides life and non-life insurance products. The company had a 16.6% share of the market last year and 2015 net profit of EUR 98 million. ETHNIKI Insurance own two subsidiaries in the SECEE region, in Cyprus and Romania.

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