PKO reportedly bids for Raiffeisen's Polish unit

By bne IntelliNews June 14, 2016

PKO BP has tabled a non-bonding offer to buy Raiffeisen Bank International's (RBI) Polish unit, newswires claimed on June 14.

If the report by Bloomberg quoting unnamed sources is accurate, then it positions Poland’s largest lender as the only potential competitior to Alior Bank for Raiffeisen Polbank, and potentially sets up a scrap between two state-controlled giants. Both PKO and Alior's owner, insurance giant PZU, are state-controlled. The Polish government has said it wants to raise state ownership of the banking sector.

RBI will be delighted to see any element of competition. The Austrian lender has been looking to sell its Polish unit for close to 18 months, but the M&A market in the banking segment has been stalled by a combination of negative factors. That has seen the project for PZU to build a major Polish owned banking group as the only player in town for some months.

Polish banks’ profitability is hurting because of record-low interest rates and regulatory burden. The sector is also awaiting a law to allow over half a million borrowers to convert forex-denominated mortgages, with billions in costs likely to be heaped on lenders.

Under pressure to sell as Polbank as part of a push to scale back operations in CEE in a bid to stabilise its balance sheet, RBI has recently pledged to split off the forex loans portfolio. Meanwhile, Poland’s financial market regulator KNF gas recently given RBI more time to carry out an IPO, to which it committed when it bought the unit in 2012.

PKO BP’s CEO Zbigniew Jagiello said earlier this week that the state-controlled lender was “ready” to buy, although he did not provide any hints regarding targets. Alior Bank, in turn, said on June 14 its focus is on integrating the recently acquired from GE Capital bank BPH, with any other takeovers “unlikely” at the moment, Alior’s CEO Wojciech Sobieraj told PAP.

However, KNF is likely to have something to say about developments. The watchdog has spent years insisting it would block any attempt by the country's largest banks to push further consolidation of the sector. It has also regularly stressed its support for the PZU project.

Related Articles

UniCredit reportedly in talks to sell Czech/Slovak unit

UniCredit is in talks with two local suitors over the sale of the Italian bank’s Czech/Slovak business, local media reported on March 27. The claim remains only speculation, but if accurate, it ... more

Russia's Sberbank selling its Ukrainian subsidiary

Russia’s largest bank Sberbank is selling its subsidiary in Ukraine to a consortium of investors that includes Latvia’s Norvik Bank and a private Belarusian company, Sberbank said in a statement ... more

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

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