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Acquisition of 85% of Telenor Banka fails to win Serbia's c-bank approval

Author Radomir Ralev
Acquisition of 85% of Telenor Banka fails to win Serbia's c-bank approval By NMedjedov (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

BELGRADE (Serbia), February 6 (SeeNews) – Serbian online lender Telenor Banka said on Tuesday that Bulgaria-based investment fund River Styxx Capital has not received the consent of Serbia's central bank for the acquisition of 85% of its share capital from Norwegian telecommunications group Telenor.

Telenor will support any further step that will contribute to the positive closure of the transaction, Ingeborg Ofsthus, CEO of Telenor Serbia and chair of the Telenor Banka board of directors said in a statement issued by Telenor Banka.

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"Strategic partnership with River Styxx is an important step in Telenor Banka's growth curve, as we want to further build its business and portfolio of services. Telenor continues to be confident that partner's reputation, expertise and financial track record will be a valuable asset to the future bank's business," Ofsthus said. 

Serbia's central bank, NBS, has not approved the takeover as the submitted documentation did not meet the conditions set by the Serbian regulators, local news daily Vecernje Novosti reported on Monday, quoting NBS sources.

"We strongly believe in the potential of Telenor Banka, and want to join Serbian banking market as a new investor. We will continue to discuss with official Government institutions, aiming to find the right solution. We are confident in the further success of our partnership that will bring new benefits to both Telenor Banka customers and Serbian market," the CEO of River Styxx Capital, Elvin Guri, said in the statement.

In August, Telenor Banka said River Styxx Capital has signed an agreement to acquire 85% of its shares. Under the agreement for a strategic partnership, Telenor will keep a 15% stake in the capital of Telenor Banka, the online lender said. 

Telenor launched Telenor Banka in September 2014, as the first mobile and online bank in Serbia, aimed to offer state-of-the-art and innovative online financial services to its customers in the country. After three years of operation, Telenor Banka has some 350,000 customers.

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