June 15th, 2012

MFB says may seal Takarékbank acquisition deal in June

The state-owned Hungarian Development Bank (MFB) has made an indicative offer for Takarekbank, a bank for Hungary’s savings cooperatives, and could take a decision on the acquisition yet this month, chairman-CEO Laszlo Baranyay said at a press conference on Thursday.

Mr Baranyay declined to reveal any further details until the close of the negotiations.

He said MFB’s board is expected to discuss a proposal on the acquisition at a meeting next week. After the supervisory board discusses the proposal, it can be submitted to the National Development Minister, he added.

Before a decision can be taken on the acquisition, MFB has to inform its owner what potential and what risks would come with the transaction, he said.

Mr Baranyay said talks with representatives of DZ Bank on the acquisition of the bank’s 38.5pc stake of Takarekbank had been ongoing for a long time. The fact that savings cooperatives hold the majority of Takarekbank’s shares makes the matter even more confusing, he added.

The acquisition would be part of a bigger concept for a system of financial institutions, he said.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in a radio interview late in May that the acquisition of Takarekbank could be the first manoeuvre in a “comprehensive military operation”. It gives the state an opportunity to fulfill its long-standing goal of boosting the savings sector, he said, adding that with agreements, cooperation and “several new regulations”, an “exceptionally strong and stable” financial service would be created, making it easier for households to get hold of credit.


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