National Bank of Greece and OTP Bank qualify in the final round of CEC privatisation

26. Juli 2006, 00:00

National Bank of Greece and OTP Bank had been selected by the commission responsible with the last stage of...

National Bank of Greece and OTP Bank had been selected by the commission responsible with the last stage of privatisation of CEC, when the two banks will submit final financial offers until August 31. The Austrians at Raiffeisen are out of the race.

"After analysing the bids and assigning a score according to the agreed scale, only two banks are left in the competition. The finalists are, in alphabetical order, the National Bank of Greece and OTP Bank," Sebastian Vladescu, Finance Minister and head of CECs privatisation committee said.

Although he declined comment on the value of the two bids, Vladescu said, "since were going ahead with the privatisation process, the bids must be within acceptable limits."

The Finance Minister explained Raiffeisen did not qualify because the score its bid got was at least 10 per cent lower than the last (qualifying) bid. Mediafax news agency quoted sources close to the privatising process that say only one of the two bids that made it into the finals exceeded EUR 500 million. A EUR 500 million bid evaluates the bank at  EUR 715 million.

The state is selling 69.9 per cent in CEC as part of the banks privatisation process. The value of a 9.9 per cent stake will be transferred to the Proprietatea Fund, a share company created for reimbursing owners dispossessed by the communist regime. Five per cent of CEC will be sold to current and former CEC employees while the remaining shares will be sold through a public offering. Negotiations with National Bank of Greece and OTP Bank for the drafting of the final form of the privatization contract will begin on August 1 and will end on August 23.

"OTP Bank submitted a fair and realistic bid for the acquisition of the 69.9 per cent in CEC," stated Laszlo Wolf, deputy chief executive of OTP, the largest Hungarian bank. Wolf says the Hungarian banks management welcomes the announcement about making it into the final stage of the privatisation. 

According to Sandor Csanyi, director general of the Hungarian bank, OTP will increase its share capital in order to finance the takeover of CEC if it wins the race. Csanyi believes that even if it does not take over CEC, it still has the capacity to become an important player on the Romanian market as it currently has a local branch.

Our long-term development goals will be attained by organic growth; CEC was an interesting opportunity for us, but we have other options, as well," Steven van Groningen, chairman of Raiffeisen Bank Romania said. 

CEC registered EUR 4.88 million in net profit in the first half of the year, while the banks assets exceeded EUR 1.685 billion, 15.4 per cent more year-on-year.

Our long-term development goals will be attained by organic growth; CEC was an interesting opportunity for us, but we have other options, as well," Steven van Groningen, chairman of Raiffeisen Bank Romania said. 

CEC registered EUR 4.88 million in net profit in the first half of the year, while the banks assets exceeded EUR 1.685 billion, 15.4 per cent more year-on-year.

According to Sandor Csanyi, director general of the Hungarian bank, OTP will increase its share capital in order to finance the takeover of CEC if it wins the race. Csanyi believes that even if it does not take over CEC, it still has the capacity to become an important player on the Romanian market as it currently has a local branch.

Our long-term development goals will be attained by organic growth; CEC was an interesting opportunity for us, but we have other options, as well," Steven van Groningen, chairman of Raiffeisen Bank Romania said. 

CEC registered EUR 4.88 million in net profit in the first half of the year, while the banks assets exceeded EUR 1.685 billion, 15.4 per cent more year-on-year.

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