Budapest, January 8 (MTI) – Raiffeisen bank will not sell its Hungarian subsidiary under the current conditions, the bank told MTI late on Wednesday.
Raiffeisen Bank International AG said in a statement that it had examined the offers received over the past few weeks and decided not to sell the unit.
Business daily Napi Gazdasag’s online edition said on Tuesday that Szechenyi Commercial Bank (SZKB) was planning to acquire Raiffeisen’s Hungarian unit for a token sum of 1 euro and would also take over the unit’s bad loans.
Economy Minister Mihaly Varga told public television M1 earlier on Wednesday that only the sides involved could confirm whether they were engaged in talks. “I, however, would not put a large bet on the option that this transaction will indeed materialise,” said Varga, adding that Raiffeisen’s Hungarian business had brought many years of profit to the bank’s owners. Even if they are considering selling now, they may change their minds, he said.
Ingrid Krenn-Ditz, the spokeswoman for Raiffeisen, told MTI on Tuesday that the bank had received an offer to buy its Hungarian unit and was studying it.
Given the state’s 49 percent stake in SZKB, acquired in June 2013, such a transaction would make the acquisition of the much bigger Raiffeisen unit by Szechenyi possible while adding its stock of non-performing loans to the state’s balance sheet, financial website portfolio.hu, commented on Tuesday.
Last June the state of Hungary raised SZKB bank’s registered capital from 3.1 billion forints (EUR 10.3m) to 6.1 billion.
The bank’s majority owner is T&T Ingatlanforgalmazo es Vagyonkezelo, a company tied to Government Debt Management Agency (AKK) head Istvan Torocskei.