The National Bank of Greece said Tuesday it has agreed to sell its Atlantic Bank of New York unit to New York Community Bancorp Inc. for US$400 million (Ђ331 million) in cash. Proceeds from the sale will help finance acquisitions in southeast Europe.
National, Greece's largest bank, ranked by assets, said selling Atlantic Bank was part of its long-term plan to focus on high-growth markets, such as those of southeast Europe, that secure high returns for shareholders.
While Atlantic has been profitable during the past few years, return on equity benchmarks have been lower than those of the National Bank Group as a whole, the Greek bank said.
At 1235GMT, National's shares were trading up Ђ0.56, or 1.7 percent, at Ђ32.96.
National has more than 600 domestic branches and 230 in the rest of the Balkans.