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France's Agricole to bid on Emporiki Bank of Greece

France's Crédit Agricole SA said yesterday it will launch a cash offer for Emporiki Bank of Greece SA, valuing the lender at €3.1-billion ($4.32-billion). The French bank is offering €23.50 a share, ending months of speculation over its plans for Greece's fourth-largest lender. Agricole has had a six-year partnership with Emporiki and already owns 8.93 per cent of the bank. Greece's Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis welcomed the offer and said the full sale of Emporiki was a priority. Greece holds about 41 per cent of the bank -- 9 per cent directly and 32 per cent through state pension funds. ACA (Paris) fell 87 euro cents ($1.21 cents) to €26.77. TEMP (Athens) rose €1.36 ($1.90) to €24.80. AP

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