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Romania to ban merger of CEC with buyer's unit

Romania approved a decision banning the potential buyers of Casa de Economii si Consemnatiuni (CEC) bank from merging their own units with the lender in Romania following the sale, Bloomberg reported citing Romanian news agency Mediafax.

The government wants to keep the bank as a distinct entity instead of seeing its network renamed and merged with units in the country of any of the two potential buyers, unnamed government sources told Mediafax.
National Bank of Greece SA and Hungary's OTP Bank Nyrt are competing to buy CEC, Romania's last state-owned bank for sale. Both lenders have already started their own networks in Romania and seek to expand them as the country prepares to join the European Union on January 1, 2007.
The government is considering including a protection clause in the sale agreement that would prevent the state from having less than 25% in the bank even after a capital increase by the buyer, Mediafax added.