Update: EximBank acquires Banca Românească. PNL Senator wants investigation committee

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EximBank and National Bank of Greece (NBG) signed an agreement regarding the purchase of NBG’s equity holding of 99.28% in Banca Românească (BROM). Subsequent to the completion of the transaction, EximBank will enter the domestic retail banking market, thus becoming a universal commercial bank, a release from the bank informs.

As a consequence, EximBank’s market share will increase to approximately 3%, which will place it among Romania’s top 10 largest lenders.

“As the majority shareholder of EximBank, The Ministry of Public Finance has always believed in the outstanding potential of this endeavour, which accomplishes the Romanian authorities’ ongoing concern to strengthen the presence, the role and the systemic impact of state-controlled banks on the domestic market. We are confident that the new entity will play a key role in supporting the country’s economic growth through the financial support that will be offered to all relevant market segments, whether they be private individuals or businesses,” said Eugen Teodorovici, the Minister of Public Finance.

“I am delighted to announce this transaction that leads to the creation of a benchmark Romanian bank that will capitalise on both BROM’s experience in the retail banking segment and EximBank’s time proven ability to support the domestic business environment. Since its establishing 27 years ago, EximBank has constantly re-shaped and modernized in order to keep pace with the banking system evolution and the clients’ up graded demands and this step clearly represents a major achievement in our bank’s history,” said Traian Halalai, Executive President of EximBank.

The closing of the transaction is subject to the fulfilment of all the necessary regulatory requirements.

J.P. Morgan Securities plc acted as sole financial advisor to EximBank in relation to this transaction. EximBank was also assisted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers Management Consultants SRL, while Linklaters LLP acted as international legal counsel and Bulboaca & Associates as local legal counsel to EximBank.

PNL Senator requests the hearing of BNR management

Liberal Senator Florin Citu wrote on Facebook he will request the hearing of the National Bank management by the Budget-Finance Committee regarding the transaction, which he calls ‘very suspect’.

“Teodorovici is building his own banking system under our very eyes. Stealthily, Teodorovici has bought through EximBank the retail bank Banca Romaneasca. BNR has to immediately make public the details of the transaction. Concomitantly, I will invite BNR to the Parliament, to the Senate’s Budget-Finance Committee, to discuss the transaction. I call BNR because Teodorovici will never make the details public,” Florin Citu wrote.

He added that he will request an investigation committee for this transaction, although PSD and ALDE will not agree. “They do not want transparency, especially when there is something illegal. This is why it is BNR’s duty to inform the Parliament and the public. (…) The transaction is very suspect. An exporting bank buys a retail bank. Something is rotten,” Florin Citu wrote.

He mentions that the state already has a universal bank – CEC Bank, which needs RON 1 billion as recapitalization to cover the losses. “Does the state really need two retail banks?” he asks.

The Senator explains that the transaction has to be approved by BNR.

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