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Bank of Cyprus withdraws Emporiki bid

Bank of Cyprus has withdrawn its cash and shares offer for Emporiki Bank of Greece, leaving French lender Credit Agricole as the sole bidder for Greece's sixth largest bank.

The bank said in a statement: At its meeting held today, the Board of Directors of Bank of Cyprus has unanimously decided to submit an application to the Hellenic Capital Markets Commission for the revocation of its public tender offer for 100% of the shares of Emporiki Bank of Greece. However, the bank did not give any reasons for its decision.

Bank of Cyprus had only a day earlier instructed its lawyers to examine a Greek court opinion that a plan for an industry-wide pension fund may be unconstitutional. The fund would have allowed Emporiki to reduce its pension costs and was one of the factors cited by both banks as a reason to make a bid.

Bank of Cyprus said in response to the court’s opinion: Acting with a high level of duty of care to safeguard the best interests of its own shareholders, staff and customers, the Bank of Cyprus Group is reviewing these developments.