State to sell stake in Granit Bank

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The state of Hungary will sell its 36.5% stake in Granit Bank, Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga said yesterday, Hungarian news agency MTI has reported.

The state aims to sell the stake for more than the HUF 4.3 bln it has invested in the bank, Varga added.

The sale will take place in an open, two-round tender that starts on Thursday of next week, he said. Hopefully, the transaction will be closed by year-end, he added. Indicative offers must be submitted by September 1.

Varga said the government expects a number of offers for the stake. These could come from financial or professional investors, Hungarian or foreign.

Granit Bank was set up about six years ago by building industry magnate Sandor Demjan to help Hungarian SMEs out of the crisis. The state acquired a 49% stake in it in 2013. 

Varga noted that the government had made maintaining the strength and stability of the domestic banking system a strategic goal after it came to power in 2010. Now that this goal has been achieved and Hungarian ownership in the sector is more than 50%, the state has started pulling out of the sector, he added.

Granit Bank had total assets of HUF 228 billion at the end of last year. It has been profitable for three years.

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