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CNB gives green light to investment takeover of Union Banka

The Czech National Bank (CNB) gave permission for Italian Invesmart to buy into Union banka. The CNB earlier in the week refused permission, but gave the go-ahead to a second request, saying that full information on the source of funds to be used had now been provided.

According to Invesmart, the second request also differs in that the purchase price of CZK 2.7 bn goes to strengthen Union banka’s capital and not to shareholders. Invesmart has requested talks with the government on possible state help in resolving the bank’s portfolio of bad loans, many of which were taken over from failed banks Ekoagrobanka, Banka Skala, Evrobanka, and Foresbanka. Finance Minister Sobotka says he is prepared to discuss state help.

Union banka has around 250,000 with deposits of more than CZK 20 bn, around CZK 1 bn down since the start of the year. It has the fifth largest branch network in the CR with about 100 branches. Invesmart has said it intends to restructure the bank and sell it to another investor.

(PBJ 25.x.02)

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