Update: BNR opposes the transaction by which OTP was to acquire Banca Romaneasca

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The National Bank of Romania (BNR) opposes the intention of OTP Bank Romania to acquire a 99.28% stake in Banca Romaneasca and mentions that the reasons on which the decision is based cannot be revealed, a release from the central bank informs on Thursday.

“The National Bank of Romania informs that, based on Government Emergency Ordinance no. 99/2006 regarding the credit institutions and capital adequacy, adopted with amendments and completions by Law 227/2007, on the BNR Regulation no. 6/2008 regarding the start of operations and changes in the credit institutions’ situation, Romanian legal persons and of branches of third countries credit institutions in Romania, as well as on the BNR Regulation no.11/2007 regarding the authorisation of credit institutions from third countries, it opposes the intention of OTP Bank Romania to acquire a direct participation (in a share of 99.28%), the intention of OTP Bank Nyrt respectively, to acquire an indirect participation (in a share of 99.28%) of the joint stock and voting rights of Banca Romaneasca, member of the National Bank of Greece,” the document reads.

BNR mentions that, according to article 52 of Law no.312/2004 on the National Bank’s statute, the information in terms of authorisation, regulation and prudential overseeing the credit institutions are considered professional secret and involves confidentiality.

The OTP Bank Romania acquiring operation of Banca Romaneasca and several Romanian assets was authorised by the Competition Council in December 2017.

Banca Romaneasca is member of the National Bank of Greece Group. The Romanian assets aimed by the transaction are related to the branch in London and Malta respectively, belonging to the National Bank of Greece SA.

On Wednesday, information delivered by sources said that BNR has rejected the transaction. Speculation on the market said that the origin of the capital with which the payment for Banca Romaneasca should have been made could give rise to questions, hotnews.ro informed.

Sources suggest that the BNR refusal to allow OTP to acquire Banca Romaneasca would pave the way for another bank consolidation, with players such as Banca Transilvania or even the smallest player in the market, Patria Bank (formerly Carpatica).

The competition for acquiring Banca Romaneasca, OTP had among the competitors Banca Transilvania, the bank in Cluj offering much less for Banca Romaneasca’s capital.

The agreement between OTP Bank and the National Bank of Greece, the shareholder of Banca Romaneasca, was completed by announcing the agreement on July 27, 2017. OTP Bank said at the time that it had reached an agreement with National Bank of Greece to acquire a 99.28% of the shares, and that the completion of the transaction is to take place in early 2018.

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