FD secures Greek bank brief

National Bank of Greece (NBG) has brought in Financial Dynamics for its bid to acquire a controlling stake in Turkey's Finansbank.

The proposed £3.8bn deal will create a banking firm with around £50bn of assets, and is the biggest foreign investment ever by a Greek company.

'There's a trend towards cross-Europe deals looking to London for financial comms counsel,' said Financial Dynamics CEO Charles Watson. 'International dialogue is often in English and the reality is that a lot of investors are based here.'

The deal follows reported interest in Finansbank by New York-based financial leviathan Citigroup, which has its own Turkish banks already in place.

Some commentators believe the deal could improve relations between Greece and Turkey, neighbours with a long history of enmity. Their most recent flashpoint came in 1996 when the countries reached the brink of war over a deserted island in the Aegean Sea.

Relations have thawed considerably since, but territorial disputes remain, not least over reunification plans for Cyprus.

Both Greek and Turkish press have welcomed the deal, saying that it could encourage bilateral trade between the two countries and aid the reparation of international relations.

FD senior vice-president Robert Bailhache heads the account, overseeing a team of five staff on the project.

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