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Hungarian Bank OTP Continues its Expansion into the Balkans

Continuing its recent trend of acquisitions in Southeastern Europe, Hungarian Bank OTP has announced plans to purchase a new bank in Croatia, according to Hungarian news site index.hu.

The Hungarian lender’s Croatian branch, OTP Banka Hrvatska, has signed a purchase agreement for 100% ownership of Splitska Banka with French multinational financial services company Société Générale. The financial aspects of the transaction between the French bank and Hungary’s largest lender will take place next summer, while the planned integration will be completed by summer of 2018.

The French firm’s Croatian arm, Societe Generale Splitska, is currently the fifth-largest player in the Croatian banking sector.

With this acquisition, OTP’s market presence in Croatia will grow by approximately ten percent. OTP has been in Croatia since 2005, and has continuously operated profitably in the region, even during the 2008 financial crisis.

This move comes on the heels of OTP’s bid for the National Bank of Greece’s Bulgarian unit earlier this month. According to wire service Reuters, Belgian Bank KBC and OTP have both “made offers to acquire United Bulgarian Bank (UBB), the Bulgarian subsidiary of National Bank of Greece (NBG).” UBB is Bulgaria’s fourth-largest lender.

And earlier this year, in November, OTP Bank opened a new regional headquarters in the city of Niš in Southern Serbia.  The inauguration ceremony was attended Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán and Serbian PM Aleksandar Vučić, who both expressed their hope that the Niš investment would be profitable for both parties (for more information on OTP’s Serbian expansion, read our article here).

Hungary’s OTP Bank group is one of the largest financial services providers in Central and Eastern Europe. It comprises large subsidiaries, granting services in the field of insurance, real estate, factoring, leasing and asset management, investment and pension funds.

Via index.hu and Reuters

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