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BUCHAREST (Romania), March 15 (SeeNews) - Romania's central bank said on Thursday it refused to approve the agreement for the takeover of Banca Romaneasca (BROM) by OTP Bank Romania, a subsidiary of Hungary-based OTP Bank.
In accordance with the legal provisions regulating the operations of credit institutions, the central bank opposes OTP Bank Romania's intention to acquire a direct qualifying holding of 99.28% in Banca Romaneasca, the central bank, BNR, said in a statement.
BNR gave no reason for its decision, citing the confidentiality of information obtained during the exercising of its powers in the field of authorization, regulation and prudential supervision of credit institutions.
OTP Bank Romania can appeal the decision before the BNR board of directors.
BNR's decision comes after Romania's anti-trust regulator approved the takeover agreement in December.
OTP Bank Romania signed the agreement for an undisclosed sum with National Bank of Greece (NBG), the owner of Banca Romaneasca, at the end of July. The transaction involves the shares in BROM held by NBG, as well as the purchase of additional exposures in Romania belonging to other subsidiaries of NBG, OTP Bank Romania said at the time.
The acquisition would increase OTP Bank Romania's market share to around 4%, making the bank the eighth largest lender in Romania.
OTP Bank Romania's consolidated adjusted after-tax profit of its Romanian unit surged 88% year-on-year in 2017, reaching 44.85 million lei ($11.9 million/9.62 million euro). Its operating profit rose by 12% on the year to 138 million lei in 2017, as a result of stable operating expenses and higher total income.
(1 euro=4.6620 lei)