OTP bank leaves Slovakia. Who will acquire the bank?

Three other banks are rumoured to put their offer on the table.

The Hungarian OTP Bank is said to sell its Slovak subsidiary. The Hungarian OTP Bank is said to sell its Slovak subsidiary. (Source: OTP Bank)

Four years have passed since a bank was last sold in Slovakia. This will change now since the Slovak branch of the Hungarian OTP bank is on sale, the Trend weekly reported.

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OTP considered selling the subsidiary in 2008, but later changed its mind due to the starting crisis.

“The OTP bank does not comment on market information of this kind,” said OTP bank's marketing and PR head, Róbert Varšányi, as quoted by Trend.

There is a rumour that there are three bidders interested in purchasing the bank, which has the ninth highest market share in Slovakia. This is specifically the ČSOB bank, Tatra Banka and the Penta investment group. They have allegedly already submitted their offers, the weekly wrote.

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None of them has confirmed or denied the information yet.

OTP on sale

The Slovak branch of OTP has long been losing its position on the market: its market share of 2.9 percent in 2004 fell to 1.8 percent the past year. In addition, its assets dropped by €46 million year-on-year to €1.412 billion in 2018.

Besides, while most banks have had excess surplus in recent years, OTP bank has been recording a loss. The last time it reported a profit was in 2015.

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Moreover, the Slovak subsidiary does not make up a big part of the OTP banking company. Out of 1,500 branches in south-eastern and eastern Europe, only 62 are located in Slovakia. Hence, it may be easier for the Hungarian bank to lose this subsidiary.

One of the reasons why OTP bank wants to sell its subsidiary may well be the expectation of another financial crisis that could push the prices of firms down.

Disclaimer: The Penta financial group has a minority share in Petit Press, the co-owner of The Slovak Spectator.

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