Greece-based Alpha Bank is reportedly nearing an agreement with Citibank to acquire its retail banking operation in the country.

A Greek banking source was quoted by Reuters as saying that Greece’s bank bailout fund HFSF, a majority owner of Alpha Bank with 69.9% stake, has approved the deal.

"We’re close," one banking source said. "There are just some formalities left."

Earlier in February this year, Reuters reported that the two lenders are looking into a plan under which Alpha would acquire Citibank’s retail arm and wealth services.

Greece’s debt crisis has forced global lenders such as France-based Credit Agricole and Societe Generale to dispose of local units to Greek banks in recent years, according to the publication.

In 1964, Citibank began shipping and corporate lending operations in Greece and expanded into retail banking in the 1980s. The bank manages a network of nearly 21 branches throughout the nation.

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