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OTP Bank up against four competitors in bid for Bulgaria's DZI

OTP Bank Nyrt is up against Austria's Volksbank, Greece's Alpha Bank, Belgian's KBC Bank and an unnamed French bank in a bid for Bulgaria's DZI Bank, according to reports on Wednesday by Greek news portal reporter.gr and the Austrian Press Agency (APA).

OTP deputy CEO László Wolf said in August that the bank was interested in buying DZI in order to strengthen its position in Bulgaria. OTP already owns Bulgaria's biggest retail bank, DSK, which it bought in a privatization deal in 2003 for €311.1 million.
According to APA, DZI closed 2005 with total assets of €562 million and profit of €416,200. Other sources put the exchange-listed bank's market capitalization at $178 million (€138.8 million). The bank's share price has risen 63% since the start of the year because of speculation of a buyout offer, APA noted.
Up for sale are 70% of the bank's shares held by Vesela Kyulev, the widow of Emil Kyulev, who acquired the shares in 2002 when he bought the DZI financial group in a privatization deal. Kyulev was murdered in 2005 on a street in Sofia. Also in 2005, Bank Austria Creditanstalt acquired about 24% of DZI shares and 13.05% of the bank's insurance unit.