OTP, Intesa in battle to buy Romania's Garanti bank - media

BUCHAREST/BUDAPEST, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Hungary’s OTP Bank and Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo have reached the final stages of the race to buy Garanti BBVA’s Romanian unit, Romanian news outlet Ziarul Financiar (ZF) said on Monday, citing banking market sources.

“After latest talks, the finalists are Hungary’s OTP and Italy’s Intesa,” ZF said, adding the price of the sale could top 400 million euros ($443 million).

It said bidders had included local rivals Banca Transilvania and Raiffeisen Bank Romania.

Asked to comment on the sale process, Garanti BBVA Romania, the country’s 10th biggest bank by assets, said “the group’s policy is to not comment on rumours or market sources.”

Garanti BBVA Romania is held by Garanti BBVA Turkey. Spanish financial group Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) is the majority shareholder of Garanti BBVA Turkey, according to the official website of the Romanian bank.

An OTP spokesman said the bank did not comment on press information on acquisitions. Intesa was not immediately available to comment.

$1 = 0.9038 euros Reporting by Radu Marinas and Marton Dunai; Editing by Mark Potter