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Competition Council to analyse the transaction by which OTP Bank takes over Banca Romaneasca

The Competition Council analyzes the transaction by which OTP Bank Romania takes over Banca Romaneasca SA, as well as the Romanian assets related to the London branch and the Malta subsidiary belonging to the National Bank of Greece SA (NBG), the Council informs on Wednesday in a press release.

The assets taken over are loans and related guarantees concluded by the NBG branch in London, and by the Maltese branch of the NBG respectively, to various Romanian clients.

Both OTP Bank Romania and Banca Romaneasca SA are operational in financial and banking services.

“The competition authority will assess this economic concentration in order to establish its compatibility with a normal competitive environment and will issue a decision within the deadlines provided by the law,” the press release reads.

The National Bank of Greece signed an agreement with OTP Bank Romania in late July for the sale of its stake to Banca Romaneasca of 99.28%. The transaction involved the Banca Romaneasca shares owned by NBG and the acquisition of the supplementary portfolio in Romania, owned by NBG subsidiaries, according to information released by OTP Bank.

Based on its balance sheet total at end of 2016, Banca Romaneasca is the 14th largest bank of Romania with a market share of roughly 1.62 per cent, being active both in the retail and the corporate segments as a universal bank. At end of 2016 the balance sheet total of Banca Romaneasca and other assets was EUR 1,570 million, with gross outstanding lending of EUR 1,148 million and equity of EUR 145 million. The financial institution’s return on equity (ROE) in the last two years was 3.8% and 8.2%, respectively. The quality of the bank’s credit portfolio is adequate. 85% of the outstanding retail debt is secured by mortgage. At present Banca Romaneasca employs 1,148 persons, and operates 109 branches and 118 ATMs.

0.72 per cent of the financial institution is owned by small investors.

OTP Bank offers universal financial services to almost 13 million customers in nine countries (Hungary, Romania, Montenegro, Croatia, Bulgaria, Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia and Serbia) through its network of roughly 1,300 branches, ATM network and electronic channels.

About Valeriu Lazar