UCI vs. government - Pekao may buy Bank BPH

APA - Austria Presse Agentur
07-02-2006, 16:45

Warsaw (Puls Biznesu) – UCI has a bright idea how to merge Pekao with Bank BPH among its conflict with the Ministry of the Treasure.

Warsaw (Puls Biznesu) – UCI has a bright idea how to merge Pekao with Bank BPH among its conflict with the Ministry of the Treasure.

The management of Unicredito Italiano (UCI) is trying to find solution in its conflict with the Ministry of the Treasure (MSP) over the merger of Pekao with Bank BPH. The Italians have emergency plan in case the government forces UCI to sell the shares it owns in BPH. MSP demands UCI to do this because when it bought Pekao it pledged not to invest in another financial institution in Poland. Meanwhile, the merger with German HVB, the owner of BPH, caused that the Italians own two banks in Poland.

UCI specialists propose that Pekao buys BPH stock. The Italians would then meet the requirement to sell the stock. Pekao would control the rival bank. Analysts approve of this project but expects difficulties.

“The problem is that the Polish government excludes the possibility of the merger among Pekao and Bank BPH into the market’s biggest bank”, Dariusz Gorski, DB Securities analyst commented.

“It is a good idea to end this clash but the Highest Chamber of Control (NIK), which is a state agency, may not like it”, Andrzej Powierza, BDM PKO BP analyst commented.

UCI has no votes in Bank BPH.

“But they could manage to buy the shares. If they give good price for BPH stock, UCI could convince the other shareholders to sell the shares”, Marcin Materna, Millennium DM analyst said.

The minimum would have to amount to PLN 728.17 (EUR 190.8) according to the average in the last three months. The 71-percent stake owned by UCI is worth PLN 14.8 billion.

In case of Pekao, there should be no problem with funds for this acquisition, Andrzej Powierza said.

Meanwhile, the government sends contrary signals to the market. Zyta Gilowska, the Minister of Finance, said in an interview in “Financial Times” that a compromise is possible. Pawel Szalamacha, the deputy Minister of the Treasure, said that the ministry filed a suit in the European Court of Justice over the decision of the European Commission which approved of the merger of UCI and HVB.

(PLN 1 = EUR 0.262)

 

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Podpis: APA - Austria Presse Agentur

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