OTP Bank Nyrt, a Hungarian lender that's spent $2.4 billion expanding in eastern Europe the past five years, said it bought Kulska banka a.d. Novi Sad to expand its Serbian business. Budapest-based OTP will pay €118.6 million o buy 67% of Kulska banka, the Hungarian lender said in a statement to the Budapest Stock Exchange. OTP expects to close the transaction in October. The Hungarian lender is expanding in eastern Europe to counter slowing growth at home amid competition from rivals like Austria's Erste Bank AG. It bought a Russian lender earlier this week, seeking to tap markets where economies and lending demand grow faster than in western Europe. OTP expects the Serbian banking system to have significant growth potential. They predict that the lending activity of banks will increase in the future.
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