The Romanian government promoted through an emergency ordinance the law project regarding the completion of the...
The Romanian government promoted through an emergency ordinance the law project regarding the completion of the privatization process of the Romanian Commercial Bank (BCR), said the Minister of Public Finance Sebastian Vladescu, quoted by Bucharest Daily News.
The measure was necessary because otherwise the conditions agreed upon with Erste could not have been fulfilled until the September 21 deadline, when the privatization process must be complete.
"The Competition Council has been notified and we hope that we will have an answer before the deadline," said Vladescu. He added that on August 4 BCRs General Shareholders Assembly (AGA) will meet in order to approve the privatization conditions.
The minister said that the potential state subsidy in the Bancorex case, a bank taken over by BCR in 1999, is estimated at more than EUR 900 million. Bancorex went bankrupt and was bought together with BCR, which had taken it over, by the Austrian Erste Bank. "Looking at the data we have so far, the possible state subsidy exceeds EUR 900 million, but are not completely confident about this figure," Vladescu said.
At the end of last year, Erste Bank won the bidding for the BCR takeover, offering EUR 3.75 billion for a 61.88 per cent stake in the largest Romanian Bank. The acquisition of BCR by the Austrian group Erste Bank was the sixth most important transaction operated on the European financial services market in terms of value, according to a study conducted by consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. According to PwC, the price paid by the Austrian bank for the BCR takeover reflects the advantages Erste Bank will have as a result of this transaction, namely a large exposure on an emerging market, the takeover of a 300 branch network, 2.5 million personal accounts and 300,000 corporate accounts.