Hungary’s OTP Bank buys 90 percent of capital of Niska Bank for €14 million

Serbian Minister of Finance Mladjan Dinkic said today that Hungary’s OTP Bank has won the tender auction for the privatisation of the Nis-based Niska Bank with an offer of €14.21 million, and become the owner of 89.39 percent of the bank’s capital.

Following the signing of the sale contract between the Serbian government, the Niska Bank majority owner, and representatives of OTP Bank, Dinkic said that the agreed price is 1.3 times bigger that the nominal value of the capital of the Niska Bank.

He said that the transaction will be formally concluded when the agreed price is paid out within two months, and added that the government has now successfully concluded the fourth bank privatisation this year.

By selling Jubanka, Kontinental Bank, Novosadska Bank and Niska Bank in 2005, the Serbian government has achieved an income of approximately €290 million. This amount is €80 million bigger than the amount of capital that had been converted in these banks into the government property on account of the debt towards the Paris and London Clubs of Creditors, explained Dinkic.

He recalled that a total of €208 million have been converted, and that the agreed price on tenders amounted to around €289 million.

According to Dinkic, the OTP Bank has made a committment to invest €20 million in the Niska Bank, open 30 new branches and install 100 new automated teller machines and 500 point-of-sale (POS) terminals in the next three years.

The minister recalled that the other banks that took part in an international tender for the sale of the majority share of the Niska Bank were the Austrian Erste Bank and Slovenian Nova Ljubljanska Bank, but that only the Hungarian bank had submitted the necessary documents.

OTP Bank Deputy CEO Laszlo Wolf said that the bank’s aim is to win 5-10 percent of the Serbian bank market through acquisition of banks, and added that the OTP Bank has already submitted bids for the acquisition of the Vojvodjanska Bank and Panonska Bank.