OTP Bank resumes the process of acquiring Ipoteka-Bank
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- Hungarian OTP Bank continues to explore the possibility of buying Ipoteka Bank. This was stated in the bank’s report for the third quarter of 2022.
Chief Strategy and Financial Officer of OTP Bank Laszlo Bencsik said that OTP Bank is conducting additional due diligence of the Uzbek bank. He added that with a high probability the deal will take place. "We are interested in the country," he said.
Laszlo Bencsik noted that the overall economic situation in Uzbekistan has improved. The value of the bank has increased markedly. Ipoteka-Bank has launched a modern mobile banking solution that can compete with the best products in Europe.
A representative of the Hungarian bank noted that OTP Bank expects Uzbekistan’s GDP to grow by more than 5% next year. He added that in most of Europe there will be a strong slowdown in economic growth. In Uzbekistan, inflation is below 10%, but "they think it’s high," he said.
OTP Bank considers Ipoteka Bank to be a very attractive investment opportunity.
The attractiveness of the Uzbek bank has grown since the Hungarian bank put the purchase process on hold in March 2022, Benchik said.
Laszlo Bencik noted that if closing the deal depended on the Hungarian side, OTP Bank would close the deal as soon as possible.
OTP Bank signed a non-binding agreement regarding the potential acquisition of a majority stake in Ipoteka-Bank with the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The bank planned to acquire a 75% stake in Ipoteka-Bank.
The Hungarian bank asked to postpone the purchase of Ipoteka Bank for 2-3 months due to the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine.