Eximbank buys Banca Romaneasca from Greece’s NBG

Sorin Melenciuc 21/06/2019 | 11:07

Eximbank, a Romanian state-owned bank, has secured a deal to acquire Banca Romaneasca from the Greek group NBG for an amount of EUR 250-350 million.

National Bank of Greece was forced to sell Banca Romaneasca due to troubles on its domestic market and failed to close a transaction with OTP Bank last year due to Romanian central bank’s opposition.

Eximbank and J.C Flowers, who bought Piraeus Bank, entered the final phase of acquisition.

“We trust that the new entity will act as an important factor in supporting the economic growth of the country through the financial support it will give to all market segments, whether we are talking about individuals or companies,” Eugen Teodorovici, the Romanian Minister of Finance, said in a press release.

Earlier this week, official sources told Business Review that the Greek bank has reached an agreement with Eximbank and the transaction will be announced soon.

Following the acquisition, Eximbank, a small player in the banking sector, will strengthen its position as a top 10 player on the local market.

Eximbank is a bank addressing local companies in order to boost international trade but the new acquisition will allow it to play an active role on the retail segment.

In May, the Romanian government announced that it plans to create a new state-owned bank with EU money aiming to support the absorption of European funds and to finance local SMEs.

It is not yet clear what is the sense of creating this new state-owned bank as the government already owns two local banks – CEC Bank and Eximbank.

The new bank, called National Development Bank, is still in an early stage as the government prepares the launch of the feasibility study.

Too many state-owned companies

The study “From Uneven Growth to Inclusive Development”, released last year by the World Bank, the large share of state-owned companies in Romania, compared to other countries, affects the development of the country.

Romania’s state-owned companies are less productive than private ones, and the fact that private firms are acquiring products and services from state-owned companies affects the efficiency in the private sector, according to the World Bank.

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