Hungary’s OTP Bank sees specific acquisition opportunities around Eastern Europe, including Romania and wants to bid for Bancpost, after Greece’s Eurobank announced since early this year that is looking for a strategic partner to buy a stake in its fully-owned Romanian unit.
Bancpost has total assets of EUR 3.1 billion and a network of 148 branches, employing 2,255 people.
OTP Bank CEO Sandor Csanyi told Reuters and Bloomberg in a joint interview that the financial institution he represents has for years endured adverse markets while it sat on a cash pile worth billions of euros, awaiting market conditions suited for expansion, as profit.ro informs.
“For a decade everyone awaited consolidation on the market, but it never happened,” Hungarian banker stated, adding: “Now I feel it has started.”
OTP head thinks this creates opportunities for Hungarian bank to consider acquisitions also in Belarus, Bulgaria, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia.
OTP is also doing a preliminary review of a Ukrainian bank, he said, but added it was not Russian-owned Prominvestbank, whose owner tapped OTP as one of the bidders. If Prominvestbank comes up for sale, OTP will look at it, Csanyi said.
He mentioned that the due diligence is under way on a major acquisition nearly complete in Montenegro.
OTP has ample capital to execute acquisitions now, he said, with management looking to reduce the Tier 1 capital ratio to around 12.5 percent for the current 18.5 percent, giving it an immediate capital buffer of nearly EUR 1 billion.