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22 November, 2001
The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday urged caution over a planned merger of state-run National Bank of Greece and private Alpha Bank, the country's two largest credit institutions.
"With an eye to the future, and given the high level of concentration in the Greek banking market, the impact of further concentration on competition and stability of the financial system must carefully examined," the IMF said in a country report on Greece.
"The Bank of Greece, as the supervisory authority, must continue to show caution regarding hazards to the stability of the financial system that could emerge from the creation of banks controlling a large chunk of the banking system, on the basis of assets and liabilities," the report said.
Both commercial banks are blue chips on the Athens Stock Exchange.
Source: Athens News Agency