KBC plan $1.3bn Za­chodni stake sale

The Pak Banker - - 6BUSINESS -

KBC Groep NV (KBC) plans to sell its $1.3 bil­lion stake in Bank Za­chodni WBK SA (BZW), Poland’s third­largest lender, as soon as next week, two bankers with knowl­edge of the trans­ac­tion said to­day.

Bel­gium’s big­gest bank and in­surer by mar­ket value will sell its 16 per­cent hold­ing to money man­agers, said the bankers, who asked not to be iden­ti­fied be­cause the in­for­ma­tion isn’t pub­lic. Spain’s Banco San­tander SA (SAN), Za­chodni’s largest share­holder, may also re­duce its 75 per­cent stake at the same time, the peo­ple said.

Bank Za­chodni is un­der pres­sure from reg­u­la­tors to boost the pro­por­tion of its shares that are avail­able to other in­vestors.

Za­chodni, which com­pleted a merger with KBC’s Kredyt Bank SA unit in Jan­uary, is un­der pres­sure from reg­u­la­tors to boost the pro­por­tion of its shares which are avail­able to other in­vestors. The bank has to boost its so-called free-float to 25 per­cent by April and 30 per­cent by the end of 2014 from about 9 per­cent to­day, ac­cord­ing to the reg­u­la­tor.

San­tander may want to tap de­mand for bank stocks af­ter of­fer­ings of Bank Pekao SA and PKO Bank Pol­ski shares this year, the two bankers said. Italy’s UniCredit SpA sold a 3.7 bil­lion- zloty ($1.2 bil­lion) stake in Pekao, Poland’s sec­ond­largest bank, on Jan­uary 30. Less than a week ear­lier, the government and Bank Gospo­darstwa Kra­jowego sold a 5.2 bil­lion-zloty hold­ing in PKO Bank Pol­ski, the coun­try’s largest lender.

Za­chodni shares have risen 12 per­cent this year, com­pared with a 5.1 per­cent fall in the bench­mark WIG20 in­dex. The lender was trad­ing 0.2 per­cent lower to 272.5 zloty at 12:15 p.m. in War­saw.

KBC said yes­ter­day it hired Deutsche Bank AG, Cit­i­group Inc., Mor­gan Stan­ley, Bank of Amer­ica, Credit Suisse Group AG, KBC Se­cu­ri­ties NV, San­tander In­vest­ment, Dom Mak­ler­ski BZ WBK SA, Gold­man Sachs Group Inc. and UBS AG to over­see the sale of its stake in Za­chodni this year.

While KBC is pre­par­ing a share sale, it has “no com­ment on any time hori­zon” for the of­fer­ing.

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