OTP Bank, Hungary's biggest commercial lender, is in talks with the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) on buying its unit in Romania, Romanian business daily Ziarul Financiar reported on Monday, citing market sources.
The talks are taking place in Budapest and in Amsterdam, the paper said. Due diligence has not yet started and will not take place until a preliminary offer for RBS's unit is made, probably within two weeks, it added.
OTP Bank chairman-CEO Sandor Csanyi told shareholders at an annual general meeting on Friday that the bank had a concrete acquisition target in Romania.
OTP Bank already has a unit in the country, which it acquired for USD 47.5 million in the summer of 2004. At the time OTP Bank bought the unit, it controlled about 1% of the market. At the end of 2010, the bank had total assets of HUF 424.5 billion, OTP Bank said in its preliminary Q4 report published in March. The unit racked up a HUF 6.4 billion loss for the year.
RBS Romania was Romania's 13th biggest bank at the end of 2010.