Dexia pulls out of CEC privatisation race

10. Juli 2006, 00:00

French-Belgian banking group Dexia decided to pull out of the National Savings House (CEC) privatisation race,...

French-Belgian banking group Dexia decided to pull out of the National Savings House (CEC) privatisation race, Romanian business daily Ziarul Fianciar reported. Dexia also competed for the takeover of the Romanian Commercial Bank (BCR) last year.

After the government announced the extension of the CEC privatisation deadline and the change of the strategy, Dexia decided not to wait any longer and acquired Turkish Denizbank, which also has a Romanian branch. Dexia paid EUR 2.44 billion for the Deniz shares.

After nine months of changes in the CEC privatisation process, the state now has only four potential buyers left. The Italians bank Monte dei Paschi having dropped out of the race, too.

As a result, competitive pressure is going down and the Finance Ministry already has a short list of investors, which can affect the chances of getting a high price for the bank.

The list of investors expected to submit firm bids by July 17 now includes: Raiffeisen, OTP and the Greeks at EFG Eurobank and National Bank of Greece. Out of the four, Eurobank has recently confirmed plans for a bid.

In a press release Dexia said "Romania remains, thanks to its growth potential and its imminent admission in the EEC, a very promising market, especially in its Public/Project Finance business. This market will be developed directly through Dexias office in Bucharest."

Dexia was founded in 1996 through the merger of Crédit Communal de Belgique (founded 1860) and Crédit Local de France (founded 1987). The Dexia Group was founded as a dual-listed company, but in 1999 the Belgian entity took over the French entity to form one company. It had an income of EUR 1.7 billion in Q1 2006.

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