October 5, 2016 / 5:50 AM / 3 years ago

Raiffeisen gets more time for negotiating Polish unit sale

WARSAW, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Poland’s financial regulator KNF said late on Tuesday that it had extended the deadline for Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank by two months to November-end to agree the terms regarding the sale of its Polish unit to a local listed company.

When Raiffeisen bought the bank, Raiffeisen Polbank IPO-RBP.WA, in 2012 it agreed with the regulator to sell at least a 15 percent stake by the end of June 2016 in an initial public offering. Since then it decided to sell the bank because it needed money.

Polish Alior Bank, controlled by state-run insurer PZU, said last month that it entered into exclusive talks with Raiffeisen over the purchase of its Polish demerged core banking business.

On Tuesday, KNF said the transaction has to be finalised by the end of June 2017.

The regulator expects Raiffeisen to notify the European Central Bank about its intention to launch a unit in Poland that would take over Polbank’s mortgage portfolio.

Keeping the unit’s Swiss franc-denominated loan portfolio was one of the conditions under which KNF agreed that the bank could be sold this year to a Warsaw-listed bank.

Raiffeisen Polbank has one of the biggest Swiss-franc loans portfolios among the Polish lenders, which together with a banking tax have hurt Raiffeisen’s plans to sell the Polish unit. (Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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