January 13, 2014 / 6:26 PM / in 4 years

CORRECTED-Serbian agribusiness firm Sunoko seeks control of AIK Banka

(Corrects conversion of 154.9 billion dinars to $1.8 bln, from 1.9 bln, para 7)

BELGRADE, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Serbian agribusiness firm Sunoko will seek to buy 62.1 percent of shares in AIK Banka to gain control over the domestic lender, it said on Monday.

Privately held Sunoko, which runs sugar processing plants in Serbia, and its parent company MK Group already own 37.9 percent of shares in AIK Banka. By purchasing 62.1 percent, they would own 100 percent of shares.

In a statement issued on the Belgrade stock exchange website, Sunoko said it would announce an offer within next 15 days, without elaborating. A spokesman for the company declined to comment further.

An AIK Banka spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.

Of Serbia’s 29 banks, seven - including AIK Banka - are domestic while the remaining 22 are subsidiaries of major foreign banks, mostly from Western Europe.

AIK Banka is the country’s No.7 bank in terms of assets and the second-biggest of the domestically owned lenders.

The bank has total assets of 154.9 billion dinars ($1.8 billion), according to the Serbian central bank. It has a market capitalisation of 14.5 billion dinars and a return on equity of 7.24 percent, according to the exchange website. (Reporting by Ivana Sekularac; Editing by Pravin Char)

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