UPDATE 1-Millennium denies report of plan to sell Polish unit

Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:16am EST

Related Topics

* Portugal bcp denies it plans to sell Bank Millennium

* Polish daily says bankers looking for potential buyers (Adds bcp's comment, details, shares)

WARSAW/LISBON Jan 14 (Reuters) - Portuguese bank Millennium bcp denied a newspaper report on Monday that it was looking to sell its Polish unit Bank Millennium this year after failing to find a buyer in 2011.

Polish Rzeczpospolita daily, citing unnamed sources, reported that investment bankers for the Portuguese lender were sounding out potential buyers for a possible deal later this year.

"Millennium bcp's capitalization plan does not foresee the sale of Millennium bank in Poland," a Millennium bcp spokesman said.

Millennium bcp has a 66 percent stake in its Polish arm, which has a total market value of 5.7 billion zlotys ($1.9 billion).

The bank, which was under pressure to meet tough capital ratios imposed on lenders by the country's bailout, walked away from its previous attempt to unload the Polish unit after failing to get an acceptable offer.

Rzeczpospolita said Millennium bcp was encouraged to return to the idea of selling the unit after a successful stock market listing of Polish lender Alior Bank in December.

The newspaper named Poland's largest bank PKO BP as a potential buyer, although the state lender could have a difficult time winning approval from the competition office.

Shares in Millennium bcp rose 3.3 percent, while the Polish unit was flat after early gains. ($1 = 3.0850 Polish zlotys) (Reporting by Filipa Cunha-Lima in Lisbon and Agnieszka Barteczko; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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