UPDATE: ETHNIKI Insurance close to becoming an American-Dutch owned company

National Bank of Greece's sale of a 75% stake in its insurance arm, Ethniki Insurance, to the American-Dutch consortium Calamos-EXIN got the final approvals, for a total consideration of EUR 718.3 million.

"National Bank will preserve a 25 pct equity stake in Ethniki Insurance, allowing the bank to forge a new corporate relation with EXIN and to continue benefiting from Ethniki Insurance's profitable activities," Moody's said in a report, pointing out that the operation "is credit positive for the bank".

The rating agency said that under the agreement, National Bank will boost its common equity Tier 1, CET1 capital ratio by around 110 basis points and lower its funding from ELA mechanism.

The Ethniki Insurance sale follows other similar operations previously taken by NBG as part of its restructuring plan: sale of the Bulgarian banking unit UBB as well as the Turkish Finansbank and other foreign operations. For the next future, a bank representative quoted by Reuters has stated that NBG is very close to announcing the buyer for ots fully owned Romanian banking subsidiary, Banca Romaneasca. NBG will also sell smaller operations in Serbia, Albania and Cyprus as part of commitments agreed with regulators.

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