Economy

Hungary’s Government Realises Stake In Region’s Biggest Lender OTP Bank

The Hungarian government is selling its stake in central Europe’s largest independent lender, OTP Bank, several sources, including Reuters reported. The massive block of 14 million OTP Bank shares to be sold is part of the Hungarian National Asset Management Agency’s 5% stake and worth almost HUF 80 billion. The auction is officially open until 4:30 p.m today.

Cabinet Chief János Lázár has told a press conference in response to a question that the government, which is selling a 5 percent stake held by the Hungarian state asset manager, would use proceeds from the transaction to finance investments. “This indeed means the stake held by the Hungarian state, which the government wants to sell and use this asset to finance investments and the country’s development,” he said, adding that the government would publish further details about the sale later on Thursday.

According to economic news portal portfolio.hu, 8.9% of OTP shares are currently held by the Rahimkulov family, 8.6% is at Hungary’s Mol Group, 8.2% at Groupama, 5% at Lazard Group and another 5% is held by Hungarian National Asset Management Agency (MNV). Free float is currently 64.3%, which is to rise to 69.3% today after MNV sells its package, portfolio.hu said. Trade in OTP Bank’s shares has been suspended, as is usual in such cases, as the results of the bids could provide information that would affect the share price, according to reports.

sources: reuters.com, portfolio.hu and bbj.hu photo: Imre Faludi – MTI