April 2, 2013 / 7:31 AM / 5 years ago

Italy's Banco Popolare sells Hungarian unit

MILAN, April 2 (Reuters) - Italy’s fourth-largest lender Banco Popolare has agreed to sell its small Hungarian subsidiary to local player MagNet Bank for 0.5 million euros ($642,400).

Banco Popolare, which had acquired Banco Popolare Hungary during an expansion push in 2007, is the first Italian bank to pull out of Hungary after Prime Minister Viktor Orban said foreign banks’ dominance of the country’s banking sector was excessive.

In a statement on Tuesday, Banco Popolare said the sale would not have a significant impact on its financial statement.

Italy’s largest retail bank Intesa Sanpaolo said last month it could cut its presence in Hungary after losses there pushed it into the red in the last quarter and called the eastern European country a “nightmare” for the banking industry . ($1 = 0.7784 euros) (Reporting By Lisa Jucca)

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