Awards for Excellence 1999: Non-Eurozone Europe
Best bank: Alpha Credit Bank
Best foreign bank: Citigroup
Best securities firm: Sigma Securities
Best foreign securities firm: Warburg Dillon Read
Although the Greek banking sector is still heavily dominated by the state-owned National Bank of Greece, over the past 12 months consolidation of the more fragmented end of the market has started in earnest.
National Bank has had a good year in which it reaped the rewards of initial restructuring, including rationalization of core banking businesses and the streamlining of banking processes. However, private-sector banks are beginning to catch up in terms of market share.
Early last month Eurobank, Greece's third-biggest privately owned bank, announced the launch of a hostile takeover bid for Ergobank, the second-biggest private bank. Eurobank, which is owned by the Latsis family and has a partnership with Deutsche Bank, has been buying shares in Ergobank since the beginning of the year, and now owns just over 20% of its rival. It is expected to bid for a controlling stake before the end of the summer. Ergobank has announced that it will fight the bid but many analysts expect Eurobank to achieve its aim.