CORPORATE BRIEFS

Mikloš: "technical problems" obstruct Slovak ČSOB sale

The Belgian KBC Bank has unambiguously declared that if it buys the National Bank of Slovakia's (NBS) stake in Československá Obchodná Banka (ČSOB), it is willing to pay the same price per share as it did this summer for the Czech-owned stake.

However, Slovak Deputy Prime Minister for Economy Ivan Mikloš alleged last week that the KBC had presented additional conditions for the Slovak government and the NBS, and said the Slovak government was now deciding if it could fulfill the new demands.

He said there were various "technical problems" involved, including legislative restrictions on what the Slovak side was permitted to do.

Mikloš said that the next round of talks with the Belgian investor should take place by the end of August, and added that he expects the Slovak stake in ČSOB to be sold before the end of this year.

The Slovak Republic owns 24.13% of ČSOB shares through its central bank. The Czech government sold its 65.7% stake in the ČSOB, the third largest Czech bank, to the KBC on June 24 for 40.05 billion Czech crowns.

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