The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is interested in acquiring a portion of Slovakia's stake in the Czech bank ČSOB, Deputy Prime Minister Ivan Mikloš said on July 6.
Miklos told a news conference that the EBRD was offering to purchase a part of Slovakia's shares in the ČSOB at the same price as the Belgian bank KBC will pay to Czech shareholders.
In June, the Czech Republic sold a 65.7% stake in one of its largest banks, Československá Obchodní Banka (ČSOB), to Belgium's KBC Bank for 40.05 billion Czech crowns ($1.13 billion).
The Slovak central bank has a 24% stake in ČSOB, inherited from the split-up of the Czechoslovak federation. Mikloš said the EBRD's investment regulations allowed it to purchase at most 50 to 70% of Slovakia's stake.
Czech shareholders have so far blocked Slovakia's attempts to sell its stake due to a dispute over some 17 billion Czech crowns of debt owed by Slovakia to ČSOB, currently being considered at a Washington-based investment court.
The Slovak central bank has said KBC had offered to buy the Slovak stake in ČSOB under the same conditions as it bought the Czech stake.
26. Jul 1999 at 0:00 | From press reports of TASR and SITA