OTP Bank Nyrt will “take a short break” from its campaign of acquisitions after it closes the purchase of Crnogorska komercijalna banka (CKB) in Montenegro, deputy CEO László Wolf told a press conference in Podgorica on Thursday.
”We did not decide officially how long the break will take, but we will not launch new acquisitions in the first half of 2007,” Wolf said. “We would not ignore a special opportunity, but such an opportunity is unlikely,” he added.
Wolf said the reason for the decision was OTP's capital situation. Further acquisitions could be made only by raising capital, which could dilute the value of shares, a risk that would have to be well thought through.
OTP's binding offer for the Romanian bank CEC tender is still valid, but Wolf said OTP's chances of winning the tender are slim. He said OTP believes it has submitted the lowest bid, and it is still unclear whether the state wants to part with its stake in the bank.
In addition to CKB, OTP has purchased five foreign banks this year, including Raiffeisenbank Ukraine, Russia's Investberbank group and Serbian banks Kulska banka, Niska banka and Zepter banka.