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Raiffeisen sets eyes on Budapest Bank

Raiffeisen Bank is prepared to make an offer for state-owned Budapest Bank, Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) press officer Ingrid Krenn-Ditz confirmed to business daily Világgazdaság, reported.

"We believe that the strategy Budapest Bank has followed till now and its existing portfolio could significantly strengthen the achievement of our goals as an alternative to organic growth," Krenn-Ditz was quoted by Világgazdaság as saying on its website. Raiffeisen wants to boost its lending business with retail and SME clients, especially agribusinesses, she added.

Világgazdaság noted that Belgium’s KBC, which owns Hungary’s K&H Bank, earlier said it could consider making an offer for Budapest Bank if it is put up for sale.

József Vida, the chairman-CEO of Takarékbank, the "central bank" for Hungary’s integrated savings cooperatives, also said recently that the lender could weigh making an offer for Budapest Bank, if the possibility arises.

In January, the government issued a mandate for talks on the privatization of Budapest Bank. The state acquired the lender from General Electric (GE) for USD 700 million in June 2015.