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Hungarian OTP bank acquires SocGen's Moldavian subsidiary

posted onAugust 9, 2019
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Hungary's OTP bank, Central Europe’s largest independent lender, purchased 96.69 per cent of the shares of Mobiasbanca, a Societe Generale’s subsidiary in Moldova. OTP acquired the Chisinau-based bank through a number of transactions.

According to the Moldova Stock Exchange, the Hungarian lender first bought the shares with foreign capital from French investment bank  Societe Generale and then the remaining percentage from Romania's BRD bank, which is part of Societe Generale Group, for a total investment of almost 74.7 million lei.

The deal which was finalised on July 25, has been approved by the National Bank of Moldova (NBM), as stipulated by the Law on banks in Moldova. 

The change of the shareholder to Mobiasbanca will not affect the bank’s activity, NBM said in a note, adding that Mobiasbanca will continue to operate normally and provide all services, including those related to deposit, lending and settlement operations.

The news comes as the French group continues its retreat from parts of emerging Europe, while OPT its international expansion targeting countries in CEE region.

In 2018, Societe Generale agreed to sell its subsidiaries in Albania, Bulgaria and Serbia to OTP which stands for Országos Takarék Pénztár (National Savings Bank). 

Established as an independent bank in 1990, Mobiasbanca is one of the first commercial banks in Moldova. As a universal bank, it has been active across retail and corporate segments. From 2007 to 2019, it was operated as a subsidiary of Societe Generale. 

Moldova’s third largest bank by assets posted a 301.1 million lei (15.4 million euros) profit in 2018. 
According to Moldova's Expert-Grup Independent Analytical Center, Mobiasbanca enters TOP3 financial institutions with the best performances, ranked second among the banks with the highest return on capital and third place in top banks with the largest share of credit portfolio. 

OTP Bank till now had no direct footprint in Moldova but has subsidiaries in neighbouring countries namely Ukraine and Romania. It also operates in Albania (Banka OTP Albania), Bulgaria (DSK Bank, Expressbank), Croatia (OTP banka Hrvatska), Serbia (Vojvodanska banka), Slovakia (OTP Banka Slovensko), Russia(OAO OTP Bank) and Montenegro (Crnogorska komercijalna banka, Podgoricka banka) via its subsidiaries. 

OTP share price

Today, OPT Group announced the financial results for the first half of 2019. According to the report published in Budapest, the group has registered a consolidated adjusted after tax profit of HUF 202.6 billion in 1H (2Q: HUF 112.2 billion) with 4.22% semi-annual NIM, decelerating operating expense growth, moderate risk costs and q-o-q accelerating loan volume increase.

Other highlights of the report include:

  • The semi-annual adjusted profit of OTP Core reached HUF 97.4 billion, up by 2% y-o-y; the 2Q result represented HUF 57.7 billion (+3% y-o-y) The 2Q operating profit grew by 9% y-o-y, whereas the positive risk costs moderated
  • In the second quarter the total revenues increased by 10% y-o-y accompanied by operating cost growth of the same magnitude
  • Favourable credit quality trends continued with Stage 3 ratio dropping to 5.3%
  • Performing (Stage 1+2) loan volumes expanded by 16% y-o-y and 5% q-o-q on an FX-adjusted basis
  • Household deposits showed a 1% q-o-q growth despite the introduction of the new type of retail government bonds (Hungarian Government Security Plus) from June.

OTP Group started its activity in 1949 when OTP Bank was founded as a state savings and commercial bank The bank went public in 1995. The Hungarian lender which employees more than 36,000 people provides financial services for its more than 18,5 million private, retail and corporate clients through its over 1400 branches.