OTP to buy Ro­ma­nian sub­sidiary of Na­tional

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

BU­DAPEST/ATHENS (Reuters) – Hun­gary’s OTP Bank has agreed to buy Ro­ma­nia’s Banca Ro­maneasca from the Na­tional Bank of Greece (NBG), two sources with knowl­edge of the deal told Reuters yes­ter­day, con­tin­u­ing OTP’s ac­qui­si­tion drive in cen­tral and eastern Europe. “There is a deal, NBG’s unit will be sold to OTP,” a source in Athens said. OTP ex­ec­u­tives have said pub­licly they were in the run­ning for Ro­maneasca as well as other banks in the re­gion as they look to bol­ster the bank’s pres­ence in cen­tral Europe. NBG plans to sell more as­sets in the Balkans, in­clud­ing its Ro­ma­nian op­er­a­tions, to com­plete a re­struc­tur­ing plan agreed with Euro­pean au­thor­i­ties, its chief ex­ec­u­tive Leonidas Fra­giadakis told Reuters this month. “This M&A event was well-an­tic­i­pated,” Ipopema an­a­lyst Nor­bert Harcsa said. “OTP could have a 3.6 per­cent mar­ket share (in Ro­ma­nia) ver­sus a man­age­ment tar­get of 5 per­cent. The price-to-book could be the same as it was in Croa­tia (in May).” OTP bought Croa­t­ian Split­ska Banka from So­ci­ete Gen­erale for a price close to book value. OTP, which will add Ro­maneasca’s net­work of about 110 branches, is also ex­pected to pay back a loan of 550 mil­lion eu­ros that Banca Ro­maneasca bor­rowed from NBG. Apart from Ro­maneasca, Fra­giadakis has said NBG would sell smaller op­er­a­tions in Ser­bia, Al­ba­nia and Cyprus as part of agree­ments with reg­u­la­tors. One as­set the bank still has is Ser­bia’s Vo­jvo­dan­ska Banka, also a

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