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STOCKS NEWS EUROPE-Credit Agricole rallies on Emporiki sale

Shares in French lender Credit Agricole rise 2.7 percent, the top gainers on France's CAC 40 index , as the bank confirms it is in exclusive talks to sell its Greek bank Emporiki to Alpha Bank .

"It's a good operation and the terms of the deal globally reflect what had been expected. The good news is that Credit Agricole is selling an asset that has been a drag on its solvency," Natixis analyst Alex Koagne says.

France's third-largest bank, which has already injected billions of euros into Emporiki, says it will recapitalise its Greek unit with 2.85 billion euros before selling it to Alpha Bank, and will subscribe to 150 million euros in convertible bonds to be issued by Alpha Bank.

Credit Agricole's stock has surged 90 percent since late July, strongly outperforming peers, boosted in part by expectation of the sale of Emporiki. In the first 40 minutes of trade on Monday, volumes have already reached 35 percent of the 90-day daily average, versus 24 percent for the CAC 40.

Shares in Alpha Bank gain 8.4 percent in Athens, with volumes at nearly 160 percent of the 90-day daily average.

Reuters Messaging: blaise.robinson.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net

Keywords: MARKETS EUROPE STOCKSNEWS