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Dexia withdraws from CEC bidding

Belgian-French financial services group Dexia said it had decided against bidding for Romania's fifth-largest bank, state-owned savings bank Casa de Economii si Consemnatiuni (CEC), Reuters reported from Bucharest on Monday.

”Dexia has informed the Romanian authorities that it finally will not take part in the privatization process, in spite of the interest which CEC represents,” but remains interested in the Romanian market, Dexia said in a statement on Monday.
This leaves five banks, including Hungary's OTP Bank Nyrt, in the bidding for the sale of a 69.9% stake in CEC. At the end May, the Romanian government said, that after several delays, it had set a July 17 deadline for submitting bids. OTP was one of seven banks which submitted indicative bids last October in the tender invited for a stake between 50% and 75% in the Romanian state-owned bank earlier last year. The stake on offer was raised by the Romanian government to 85% in March 2006, but was then reduced to 69.9% early April.