STA, 3 May 2019 - The French group Societe Generale signed an agreement on Friday with OTP Bank Group on selling SKB Banka and its subsidiaries to the Hungarian financial service provider, which will thus enter the Slovenian market. OTP is also reportedly one of the three most serious bidders for the country's third largest bank Abanka.
The purchase price was not revealed in today's press release by Societe Generale, which had taken over SKB in 2001, when it was the third largest Slovenian bank.
According to the agreement, OTP will take over SKB Banka, which is still among the top five largest banks in the country, as well as its subsidiaries SKB Leasing and SKB Leasing Select.
The takeover will be completed pending approvals of both banking regulators, Banka Slovenije and the European Central Bank, as well as competition regulators in the upcoming months.
The French group has already sold a number of banks in SE Europe, striving to improve its solvency ratio and lower the risk exposure level.
On the other hand, OTP Bank Group has strengthened its foothold in Central, Eastern and SE Europe in recent years, mostly through taking over businesses from Societe Generale.
OTP, Hungary's largest commercial bank and one of the largest independent financial service providers in Central and Eastern Europe, already made an attempt to enter the Slovenian market in 2014, when it was one of the bidders for the bank NKBM, according to unofficial reports.
The Hungarian bank has also confirmed its interest for Abanka, with two other companies vying to take over the third largest Slovenian bank, the private equity fund Apollo and Serbian bank AIK Banka.
Besides agreeing on the takeover, Societe Generale and OTP have also come to an agreement on the cooperation in providing various financial services, including investment banking, capital markets, liquidity management, with Slovenia being part of this agreement.
The sale of SKB is coming despite the bank's positive business results in the last year. SKB Banka generated EUR 57.6m in net profit in 2018, a 32.7% increase year-on-year, marking the bank's second-best result since it became part of Societe Generale.