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Government officially announces Takarékbank deal

Initiatives

The state-owned Hungarian Development Bank (MFB) and postal company Magyar Posta signed a contract on the sale of a 54.8% stake in Takarékbank, the “central bank” for Hungary’s savings cooperatives, to Takarék Befektetési és Vagyongazdálkodási on Monday for more than HUF 9 billion, the sellers announced.

The contract was signed after an assessment of the offer made for the shares and several weeks of negotiations with the project company Magyar Takarék Befektetési és Vagyongazdálkodási.

Following the successful close of the transaction, the direct and indirect stake of savings cooperatives and their management in Takarékbank will rise nearly 85%, the sellers said.

With the transaction, the Hungary state has fulfilled its obligations under the law, selling its temporarily acquired majority stake in Takarékbank to a company majority-owned by savings cooperatives, the statement said. The savings cooperatives participating in the project company will finance the purchase from their net assets, it added.

FHB Mortgage Bank acquired a 25% direct stake in Magyar Takarék for HUF 252 million on February 3. The majority owners of Magyar Takarék are Hungarian savings cooperatives, FHB said at the time.

The government recently classified the merger of Takarékbank and Magyar Takarék as being of “strategic national importance”, thus exempting it from the scrutiny of the Competition Office (GVH). The classification was made “in light of preserving workplaces, accelerating the integration of savings cooperatives, helping to maintain important existing contracts, and by these means to increase the security of financial services first and foremost in the countryside”, according to the decree.

Takarékbank was taken over by the state last year as part of a government-mandated integration of the savings cooperative sector. The bank was given powers to determine standards for risk management, business policy and strategy for all savings cooperatives that are members of the integration. The integration aimed to create synergy and help savings cooperatives meet stricter European Union capital adequacy requirements.

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