KBC to buy ABN Amro's stake in K&H Bank
Monday, December 12, 2005, 11:01
KBC Group NV, Belgium's second-largest financial services company, agreed to buy ABN Amro Holding NV's stake in Hungary's second largest lender for €510 million ($603 million) as it expands in eastern Europe. Brussels-based KBC will acquire ABN's 40.2% stake in K&H Bank Rt, raising its holding to 99.6%, the company said in an e-mailed statement.
The acquisition will immediately add to the Belgian bank's earnings, it said. Earnings from CEE countries, where economic growth and loan demand outpace the west, are driving profit growth at KBC. The Belgian bank said today it's looking to increase its holding in the region and may continue buying stakes in banks it already partly owns. "KBC is aiming to expand in those central and east European markets where it already has a presence," the statement said. "It plans to do so by speeding up organic growth and by acquiring, wherever possible, the interests of existing shareholders."