Market watchdog focusing on banks' share trading

Greece’s Capital Markets Commission is focusing on transactions made in the shares of National Bank and Alpha Bank in the period from January 18, when National Bank first approached the management of Alpha Bank to discuss a merger plan, until February 21, when the negotiations were announced to the public. During this period of confidential negotiations between the two banks, Alpha Bank’s shares jumped 33 pct (from 3.78 euros on January 17 to 5.5 euros on February 21), while National Bank’s shares rose 18 pct (from 6.44 euros to 7.6 euros over the same period, respectively), while the volume of trading in both shares more than quadrupled for Alpha Bank and more than tripled for National Bank.

Alpha Bank finally rejected National Bank’s merger proposal.

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