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Sanpaolo wins bidding for Serbia's Panonska Banka

Sanpaolo IMI SpA, an Italian bank that is expanding in Eastern Europe, was named best bidder for 87% of Panonska Banka a.d. by the Serbian government.

The Italian lender made the best offer for the bank, the Serbian government's agency for privatization said today in a statement. The government didn't give any financial details about the offer.
Panonska Banka, the country's 12th largest lender, had assets of $197 million at the end of 2005.
In April, Serbia picked PKO Bank Polski SA, National Bank of Greece SA, Alpha Bank SA, Bank Austria Creditanstalt AG, Hungary's MKB Bank Rt and Sanpaolo to bid for a controlling stake. The Serbian government was advised by ING Advisory Services and Citadel Financial Advisory.