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Friday, February 04, 2005
The Romanian Commercial Bank (BCR) will be privatized by the first quarter of 2006 at the latest, said Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu on Wednesday evening.
The move comes in response to the demands of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Last year, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investment division of the World Bank, each bought a 12.5% stake plus one share in BCR for a total of $222 million.
The Romanian state holds a 44% stake in BCR while five local investment funds split the remaining shares equally.
The EBRD and IFC promised a swift restructuring program at BCR to make it more efficient and prepare it for privatization in 2006.
The two lenders will sell back the combined stake if Romania finds a strategic investor interested in buying a majority stake in the local bank.
Established in 1990, BCR is the largest Romanian bank in terms of assets, which accounted for 5 billion euros at the end of the first half of last year.
It has 4.6 million customers, a network of 315 branches and employs 12,000 people.
Expected to report a net profit of 151 million euros in 2004, it was awarded a 'BB-' last year with a stable outlook by Standard & Poor's and B1/NP/D by Moody's.
Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 2/04/2005 09:20:00 am
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