Turkey’s Halkbank close to taking over Serbian peer Cacanska Banka – report

By bne IntelliNews March 24, 2014

Turkish state-owned Halkbank has submitted all necessary documents for the takeover of Serb lender Cacanska Banka with the Serbian central bank and the central bank approval of the transaction is only a matter of days, daily Blic reported, quoting unnamed sources.

Halkbank has filed the sole bid in the tender for nearly 77% of Cacanska Banka, which was launched last year.

According to the report, the parties involved in the deal have not discussed the price yet. The Turkish bank is interested in acquiring the whole branch network of Cacanska Banka, which employs 392 workers.

In November, the Serbian deposit insurance agency invited investors to submit letters of interest in the acquisition of at least 76.74% in Cacanska Banka. The offered stake is made of the holdings of the Serbian government, the EBRD, the IFC and local Beogradska Banka, which has been in liquidation.

Potential buyers had to submit their letters of interest by December 24 and at the same time apply with the central bank for a preliminary permit to acquire a direct ownership in Cacanska Banka. The agency has not announced the results of the public invitation yet.

The Serb government is the largest single shareholder in Cacanska Banka with a 28.5% stake, followed by the EBRD with 25% and the IFC with 20%. Beogradska Banka controls a small stake of 3.27%.

Cacanska Banka's pre-tax profit tumbled 65% y/y to RSD 19mn (EUR 164,000) in Jan-Sep 2013 as its net interest income fell 4% y/y to RSD 808mn, latest available data showed.

Cacanska was the twentieth largest bank among 31 active in Serbia at end-Sep in terms of assets. Its net assets stood at RSD 33.7bn at end-Sep, up from RSD 32.8bn at end-2012. Its pre-tax profit nearly halved to RSD 57mn in 2012 from RSD 130mn in 2011.

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