December 4, 2014 / 2:55 PM / 4 years ago

Hungary to buy Budapest Bank from GE Capital

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary’s government has signed a preliminary agreement to buy Budapest Bank, the country’s eighth-biggest lender, from GE Capital, government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs told a news conference on Thursday.

Economy Minister Mihaly Varga said the transaction was expected to close by the end of July 2015. Varga declined to comment on the price, and expressed hope the purchase would boost competition in the banking sector.

Varga said the government aimed to sell the bank within one or two years, adding any merger with MKB Bank, another lender the government bought earlier this year, would have to be decided later.

Reporting by Gergely Szakacs; Editing by Mark Potter

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