Sberbank of Russia said it aims to buy a major Central European bank and considers Hungary’s OTP Bank as a potential target, along with Austria’s Raiffeisen. Sberbank denies interest in acquiring OTP Bank.
The Russian company is considering acquisitions of CEE businesses that have extensive regional outlet networks and clienteles. The Russian bank reportedly has no free funds for the time being, but is planning ahead for the period ensuing the global financial crisis. Nonetheless, according to the Interfax news agency, Sberbank has hired Morgan Stanley as a consultant and has commissioned the launch of OTP share purchases. Interfax’s source said the prospective deal is needed in the longer term as it would provide Sberbank with access to EU markets.
Sberbank Communications Director Irina Kibina on Monday evening denied an earlier report from Russian news agency Interfax that the bank is intending to make a bid for either Hungary’s OTP Bank or Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank sometime in the longer-term future.(Napi Gazdaság, Gazdasági Rádió, MTI-Eco)