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Moodys: both the NBG and ALPHA would be downgraded unless a merge happens

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Elina Makri


We read today, that according to Moody's a possible merge between the National Bank of Greece and Alpha Bank would strenghten the bank's credit. NBG surprised the market with a bid for  Alpha Bank earlier in the month, but the move was rejected by Alpha. Greece has called on banks to explore tie-ups to better cope with the country's debt crisis.

Despite the fact that according to Moodys both banks are going to be downgraded as their domestic franchises faced challenges from asset quality, funding and profitability, it seems that the bankers are unable to realise the situation. The problems the banks face in Greece are mainly stemming from Greece's sovereign debt crisis. Moody's said the combined entity would be dependent on an estimated 37 billion euros in European Central Bank funding and would have around 25 billion euros of exposure in Greek government bonds, nearly twice its combined Tier 1 capital. "Despite Alpha Bank's rejection, NBG continues to promote the merger proposal with the market and investors, which in our view suggests that NBG is either pursuing a hostile public offer for Alpha or that it will propose a revised bid," Moody's analyst Constantinos Kypreos said to Athens News.Let us hope that both our politicians and bankers will understand to what a critical point the country is, and will try to seek solutions for big moves in order to regenerate the market. Up to the point that each one reacts on a ''selfish'' level, I am afraid tha the situation will worsen.