Four banks reportedly begin due diligence of RBI’s Polish unit

By bne IntelliNews July 22, 2016

Four banks have reportedly started due diligence of Raiffeisen Polbank, which Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) is seeking to sell, local media reported on July 22.

The suitors are Poland's state-controlled lender PKO BP, state-owned insurance company PZU – which owns Alior Bank – as well as ING’s Polish unit ING Bank Slaski and French bank BNP Paribas, newspaper Puls Biznesu reported. Contrary to earlier reports, Spanish bank Santander is not among the interested buyers.

PKO BP and PZU appear frontrunners to clinch the deal given the Polish government's efforts to boost the role of state capital in the banking sector. This so-called strategy of “repolonisation” of banks in Poland has already seen PZU buy into Alior Bank, while Alior is in the process of taking over BPH from GE Capital.

For RBI, due diligence marks a step forward in the sale Raiffeisen Polbank. The Austrian bank has spent 18 months trying to offload the business, but provoked little interest until it announced it is ready to carve out the portfolio of forex loans at the unit. Uncertainty over the government's plans to come up with a scheme to help borrowers has all but stalled M&A in the Polish banking sector since January 2015.

The Polish bank sector is still awaiting legislation aimed at helping the half million or so forex borrowers convert their mortgages. The banks are threatened with billions in costs. That has made valuations almost impossible to agree. An earlier report claimed RBI was interested in offloading Polbank for €0.8bn-1.1bn. 

Since the government of Law and Justice (PiS) took over late last year, however, the conversion appears only a question of time. That has allowed the likes of RBI to make the decision to strip out the forex loans. GE made a similar move and sold BPH to Alior in April.

Without having to worry about problematic forex portfolio of Raiffeisen Polbank suitors like ING Bank Slaski or BNP Paribas are said to be interested in bulking up to hedge against negatives manifest on the market, such the new bank tax or record-low interest rates. They stand little chance against state-controlled giants, however, Puls Biznesu claims.

Related Articles

Russian central bank governor Nabiullina to be nominated for further five-year term

The governor of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR), Elvira Nabiullina, will be nominated for another five-year term, President Vladimir Putin told the country’s top banker on March 22. The nomination ... more

Iran "hits impasse" in bid to set up Bank of England clearing accounts

Iran is failing to make headway with a request to the Bank of England (BoE) to set up special clearing accounts for its banks, Reuters reported on March 20. Sources said the BoE ... more

IMF delays new $1bn tranche to Ukraine due to Donbas blockade

Ukraine's main donor, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has cancelled a board meeting scheduled for March 20 that was expected to see the release of a $1bn tranche to Ukraine, while demanding ... more

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or purchase 12 months full website access including the bne Magazine for just $119/year.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.

Dismiss