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Hungary's OTP to buy majority stake in Moldova's Mobiasbanca

Hungary's OTP to buy majority stake in Moldova's Mobiasbanca Moldova

CHISINAU (Moldova), February 6 (SeeNews) - Hungary's OTP Bank said on Wednesday it signed an agreement to buy a 87.85% stake in Moldova's Mobiasbanca from French banking group Societe Generale for an undisclosed sum.

The financial closure of the transaction is expected in the coming months subject to obtaining all the necessary regulatory approvals, OTP Bank said in a press release.

In addition to concluding the sales contract, the two banking groups signed a cooperation agreement primarily to support the service of international companies in such key areas as international cash management and capital markets services, structured finance and investment banking services.

By signing the cooperation agreement, the two banking groups will maintain and provide high-quality services in these areas to multinational companies in their group member countries, OTP said.

Hungary is part of this co-operation agreement and Bulgaria and Croatia will join shortly. Albania, Serbia and Moldova will be part of it after the closing of the transactions, the lender added.

With a market share of 13.3%, Mobiasbanca is the fourth largest bank on the Moldovan banking market and as a universal bank it has been active in the retail and corporate segment as well.

In a separate press statement issued also on Wednesday, Societe Generale said that the transaction is expected to have a positive impact on the group’s CET1 ratio of around 1 basis point and to reduce the group’s risk weighted assets by around 400 million euro ($456 million).

"Through the sale of Mobiasbanca, Societe Generale takes a further step in its 'Transform to Grow' strategic plan by optimising capital and refocusing its international Retail banking activities on geographies where it has a critical size and high potential synergetic activities. We’re pleased to announce the signature of the cooperation agreement with OTP, which will allow us to provide mutual services to our corporate clients in the region," Societe Generale deputy CEO of Societe in charge of international retail banking activities, financial services and insurance Philippe Heim said in the press release.

In August 2018, OTP signed agreements to buy majority stakes in the Albanian and Bulgarian units of Societe Generale. In December,
Societe Generale said that it has entered into an agreement with a view to sell its Serbian unit to OTP.

Mobiasbanca was set up as an independent bank in 1990.

Societe Generale owns directly a stake of 67.85% in Mobiasbanca, a further 20% is held by Romania's BRD bank, which is part of Societe Generale Group, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development owns 8.84% and minority shareholders have 3.31%, according to figures published on the website of Mobiasbanca.

Eleven commercial banks operated in the country of 3.5 million people as at the end of 2018. Mobiasbanca posted a 301.1 million lei ($17.6 million/15.4 million euro) profit in 2018, ranking third in terms of profit among local lenders.

(1 euro=19.5093 Moldovan lei)