France based Credit Agricole is likely to select Alpha Bank as the suitable bidder for the sale of its Emporiki Bank unit in Greece.
A source familiar with the matter told Reuters, "They picked Alpha as the preferred bidder."
The selection for the potential sale, if finalized, will be against two other bidders including National Bank and Eurobank.
The French bank has decided to sell the Greek unit, which was bought in 2006, to reduce its exposure, in the wake of sovereign debt crisis in the region as well as increasing bad debt.
The bank said the purchase price of Emporiki will be based on the required capital that would be injected in order to meet the terms laid by the Greece’s bank support fund, the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF).
The HFSF owns a major shareholding in all three Greek banks which have expressed their desire to acquire Emporiki.