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OTP's purchase of Niska Banka stake approved

The State Financial Supervisory Authority (PSZÁF) said on Friday it has approved OTP Bank's purchase of a 89.39% stake in Serbia's Niska Banka. OTP Bank will pay Euro 14.21 mln for the stake under a contract it signed in Belgrade on December 23, 2005. The bank is OTP's first acquisition in Serbia. OTP Bank said in December that the full purchase price would be paid when the transaction is closed, probably sometime in February, after all necessary permits have been obtained. Since that time, no further announcements about the Serbian authorities' issue of permits have been made. Niska Banka controls 0.7% of Serbia's banking market with 80,000 clients and 24 branches.