In Brief

Romanian Competition Council Approves OTP Purchase of Banca Romaneasca

BUDAPEST HUNGARY - JUNE 22 2014: People walk by OTP Bank in Budapest. OTP is the biggest commercial Hungarian bank with 1500 branches in 9 countries.

Hungarian bank OTP passed another obstacle in its quest to grow throughout CEE on December 18 when the Romanian Competition Council approved its purchase of Banca Romaneasca, part of the National Bank of Greece Group. The deal had originally been agreed back in July 2017.

OTP’s Romanian subsidiary, OTP Romania, will now have around 4 per cent of the local market, making it the eighth largest bank in the country. The total value of the deal is worth 650 million euros, of which 100 million euros is cash. Romania’s national bank also needs to approve the purchase before it can be finalised.

It comes just days after OTP’s president Sándor Csányi announced that his bank’s takeover of Vojvodjanska Banka but its Serbian subsidiary has been completed, giving it an almost 6 per cent share of the Serbian retail banking market. OTP has also this year purchased Croatia’s Splitska Banka, formerly held by Societe Generale.

“This most recent acquisition shows that OTP is stable, with strong liquidity,” said Mr Sándor. “The bank’s management is working hard to consolidate our regional presence.” He also suggested that the bank’s spending spree was not over, and that at least five bank takeovers should be expected over the next two years: “We aim to become the biggest independent banking group in the region of Central and Eastern Europe,” Mr Csanyi said.

OTP is Hungary’s largest bank with a market share of more than 25 per cent, and operates in nine countries: Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania, Croatia, Ukraine, Montenegro and Russia.