|PKO BP is mulling a takeover of Bank Millennium, if it goes up for sale again|
Courtesy of PKO BP
Poland’s largest lender, PKO Bank Polski, wants to grow its business by making acquisitions in Poland, and then potentially in the wider region.
Zbigniew Jagie³³o, the bank’s CEO, told reporters that market conditions favor the takeover of local banks. His statement was a rare one for an official of the state-controlled bank, which is known for its conservative tendencies.
“The next six quarters will be much weaker in terms of GDP growth in Poland. This means smaller banks will have difficulties making adequate returns,” said Mr Jagie³³o.
“We want to use the coming time to buy a city bank – that is, one whose domain is large cities – and strengthen [our] position as number one in Poland,” he added.
Micha³ Sobolewski, an analyst at Dom Maklerski IDM, said PKO BP is considering takeovers because they are the only way for it to scale up.
“Organic growth can only help it expand so far,” he said.
According to Mr Jagie³³o, PKO BP would be interested in purchasing Bank Millennium if its Portuguese owner BCP once again decided to put it up for sale. BCP asked for bids for Millennium late last year, but in the end decided not to sell.
PKO BP has been a rich source of dividends for the national budget in recent years, but this supply line could come under threat if decides to splurge on a large local lender.
“The state would be more interested in getting dividends from PKO BP for the budget. … Takeovers could lower dividend payouts,” said Mr Sobolewski.
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