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Estonian fintech co IuteCredit buys 10% of Moldova's Energbank

Jan 12, 2022, 4:49:30 PMArticle by Nicoleta Banila
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January 12 (SeeNews) - Estonian financial technology company IuteCredit said on Wednesday it acquired a 9.976% stake in Moldovan lender Energbank for 1.7 million euro ($1.9 million) in a move towards becoming a bank.

Estonian fintech co IuteCredit buys 10% of Moldova's Energbank
Source: Energbank

IuteCredit purchased 199,519 Energbank shares at a price of 170.44 lei ($9.5/8.4 euro) each on the Moldovan stock exchange, the fintech company said in a press release.

The stake is one of the four bundles of shares which Energbank has said it is trying to sell.

In November 2020, Energbank announced it is looking for a strategic investor to take over 49.8% of its share capital at a price of 179.24 million lei. The bank has said it is selling a total of 995,984 shares distributed in four bundles with prices ranging from 130 lei per unit to 222.8 lei per share.

In October, Moldova's anti-trust body approved the takeover of a 59.39% stake in Energbank by IuteCredit, but the deal is still pending official approval from the central bank.

"As well-informed sources have already suggested to the Moldovan press, we have in fact received approval from the Moldovan central bank to buy Energbank. We will keep on working to achieve our desired goal," IuteCredit Europe CEO Tarmo Sild said.

In addition to acquiring the bank, IuteCredit plans to expand beyond its current core markets in the Balkans and Moldova in the coming years and to expand its service portfolio. "Most of the current revenues come from installments and loans, but in the future digital payments could account for half of the company’s portfolio," the CEO added.

Established in 2008, IuteCredit is specialised in consumer credits and serves customers in Moldova, Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Banca Comerciala Energbank was created in 1997. At the end of April, it operated 45 units across Moldova, providing a full range of services dedicated mostly to individuals and small and medium-sized businesses. At the end of November, the bank had 2.96 billion lei worth of assets.

Since January 2019, Energbank has been under the management of Moldova's central bank BNM. In 2019 BNM said that minority shareholders holding a stake of 52.77% in Energbank among themselves will have to dispose of their shareholding interest and that some of their rights have been suspended after an investigation found out that the stakes were acquired without its permission. At the beginning of October 2020, BNM said that another shareholder owning 10% of Energbank’s shares must sell his stake in the bank for the same reasons.

Energbank has 14 shareholders holding stakes of up to 10% each, according to data published by the lender in October 2021.

(1 euro=20.3729 Moldovan lei)

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