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Serbia's c-bank says PPF is yet to seek its approval for acquisition of Telenor Banka

Author Maja Garaca
Serbia's c-bank says PPF is yet to seek its approval for acquisition of Telenor Banka Author: SeeNews. License: All rights reserved.

BELGRADE (Serbia), August 8 (SeeNews) - Serbia's central bank said on Wednesday it has not received a request for prior approval from Czech-based investment group PPF for the acquisition of a 100% holding in Serbia-based Telenor Banka, part of Norway's Telenor Group.

The central bank said in a statement that it is the final decision-making authority, following local media reports that Serbia's anti-trust regulator has given the green light to PPF to acquire Telenor Banka.

"The National Bank of Serbia points out that the procedure for assessment of a submitted request begins only after a proper request for granting prior approval for the acquisition of the bank has been received, and that the National Bank of Serbia is the sole authority to make a final decision on that request," it noted.

Serbia's banking law stipulates that no person can acquire a direct or indirect ownership in a bank without the prior approval of the country's central bank.

On Tuesday, Serbian media reported that PPF has received the approval of the country's competition authority to acquire Telenor Banka.

In June, Norway's Telenor Group said it has entered into an agreement to sell 100% of Telenor Banka to PPF Group.

In 2013, Telenor acquired 100% of KBC Banka in Serbia. A year later, it launched Telenor Banka as the first mobile and online bank in Serbia. After almost four years of operation, Telenor Banka has more than 390,000 customers.

PPF Group operates in 22 countries across three continents and is the largest private investment group in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). It invests into multiple market segments such as banking and financial services, telecommunications, biotechnology, insurance, real estate, mining and agriculture.

In March, Telenor said it has agreed to sell its assets in Central and Eastern Europe to PPF, with the transaction including Telenor's wholly-owned mobile operations in Hungary, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Serbia.