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BUCHAREST (Romania), June 21 (SeeNews) - Romania's EximBank said it has signed an agreement with the National Bank of Greece (NBG) for the purchase of NBG’s equity holding of 99.28% in Banca Romaneasca (BROM) for an undisclosed sum.
The closing of the transaction is subject to the fulfillment of all the necessary regulatory requirements, Eximbank said in a press release on Thursday.
"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," finance minister Eugen Teodorovici said.
Subsequent to the completion of the transaction, EximBank will enter the domestic retail banking market, thus becoming a universal commercial bank. As a consequence, EximBank’s market share will increase to approximately 3%, which will place it among Romania’s top ten largest lenders.
"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," EximBank executive president Traian Halalai said.
J.P. Morgan Securities acted as sole financial advisor to EximBank in relation to this transaction. EximBank was also assisted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers Management Consultants, while Linklaters LLP acted as international legal counsel and Bulboaca & Associates as local legal counsel to EximBank.
In April 2018, Hungary's OTP Bank terminated an agreement with NBG for or the acquisition of a 99.28% stake in BROM due to the non-fulfillment of the conditions precedents by the longstop date.
In March last year, Romania's central bank BNR refused to approve the takeover of Banca Romaneasca by OTP Bank Romania, a subsidiary of Hungary-based OTP Bank. BNR gave no reason for its decision, citing the confidentiality of information obtained during the exercising of its powers in the field of authorisation, regulation and prudential supervision of credit institutions.
BNR's decision came after Romania's anti-trust regulator approved the takeover agreement in December 2017.
EximBank is a specialized institution actively involved for more than 27 years in supporting and promoting Romanian business environment. Its specific financial instruments are targeted exclusively to the corporate segment and are offered in advantageous terms to any type of companies such as SMEs, big companies, involved in international transactions or only active on local market.
Banca Romaneasca was set up in 1992 as a universal commercial bank, with an entirely private share capital. In October 2003, the National Bank of Greece acquired an 81.65% stake of Banca Romaneasca from the Romanian American Enterprise Fund, thus becoming the main shareholder.
(1 euro=4.7287 lei)