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IEB shares jump to record on owner's merger plans

Shares of Inter-Európa Bank Nyrt, the Hungarian unit of Sanpaolo IMI SpA, rose to a record after Banca Intesa Spa offered to buy Sanpaolo on speculation the two Italian lenders would merge their local units. „The stock is moving because the market may believe there is a chance for the two banks to merge their Hungarian operations,” Kornél Sarkadi Szabó, an analyst with Raiffeisen Securities in Budapest, said 28 August. The shares of the Budapest-based lender also known as IEB jumped the most in more than six years, rallying 15% to a record Ft 4,140 at 12:42 p.m. in Budapest. They extended Aug. 25's gains of 12.3% and soared 84% this year.

Intesa said Aug. 26 it wants to buy Sanpaolo for € 29.6 billion ($37.8 billion) to create Italy's biggest bank, which may involve merging their Hungarian units, IEB, and Intesa's Central European International Bank, analysts said. The Italian purchase is the biggest bank takeover in Europe since Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc's $37.8 billion acquisition of London- based National Westminster Bank Plc in 2000 and will create a lender with a market value of about € 65 billion, ranking it among the top 10 banks in Europe. (Bloomberg)