Polish watchdog to decide on BNP Paribas deal no sooner than August

WARSAW Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:49am EST

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WARSAW Feb 20 (Reuters) - Polish financal regulator KNF will not rule on French lender BNP Paribas's proposed $1.4 billion takeover of Rabobank BGZ before August, the watchdog's deputy head was quoted as saying on Thursday.

BNP agreed last year to buy the Dutch lender Rabobank's Polish business, the eastern European country's eleventh-largest bank by assets, as it returned to the acquisition trail after a period of restructuring.

But the deal needs approval from KNF, which has previously signalled its scepticism about further consolidation in the Polish banking sector and said it would take a close look at the transaction.

KNF's Wojciech Kwasniak told local daily Puls Biznesu that the deal was "complex" and that the decision process coincides with the asset quality review and banking stress tests taking place throughout Europe.

"According to assumptions, the asset review will end in July and stress tests will start at the turn of August and September, with their results to be known in October," Kwasniak said. "For our opinion (on the BNP deal), we need at least the information about the asset review results." (Reporting by Adrian Krajewski; Editing by David Goodman)

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