MKB confirms purchase of Romexterra stake


MKB Bank Rt confirmed on Friday that it had signed a contract to purchase a majority stake in Romania's Romexterra Bank, but said it would reveal further details only in the coming week.

Romanian business daily Ziarul Financiar reported on Friday that MKB was preparing to sign a contract for at least a 51% stake in Romexterra and had plans to purchase the whole bank later. The paper estimated Romexterra was worth €100 million, or twice its total assets. Small investors hold 77.13% of Romexterra’s shares, with other shareholders including unions and oil company Petrom.
The bank controls just 0.8% of the market, but its profits more than doubled in 2005 to €6.2 million.
MKB said in December, 2005, that Bayerische Landesbank, its majority owner, with 89.61% of shares, had decided to make MKB its bridgehead for regional expansion. MKB named Romania as one of the countries in which aimed to purchase a small or mid-sized bank. MKB already bought a bank in Bulgaria, Unionbank, which has a 1.5% market share, for an undisclosed price. The purchase was closed in May. MKB has also been short-listed in a tender to buy Serbia's Panonska banka, for which OTP Bank Nyrt has also submitted an indicative bid.
MKB's owners have injected into it a combined Ft 49.65 billion (€177 million) in three capital increases so far in 2006. The shareholders said the capital increase was designed to provide capital necessary to execute the bank's strategy.

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