HSBC, PKO BP tipped in takeover of AIB Polish branch: report

6th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

Britain's HSBC, Poland's PKO BP and France's BNP Paribas are favoured bidders in the takeover of BZ WBK, the Polish subsidiary of troubled Irish bank AIB, Polish press reports said Tuesday.

The troubled Allied Irish Banks (AIB), which controls a 70.36-percent share in Bank Zachodni WBK (BZ WBK), is selling off the asset as part of a restructuring plan to cover massive losses from property loans gone bad.

Analysts value BZ WBK at about 10 billion zloty (2.4 billion euros, 3.0 billion dollars).

Spain's Santander bank, Poland's Pekao owned by Italy's Unicredit and US-based Apex Partners have also expressed interest in acquiring BZ WBK, according to Poland's Rzeczpospolita and Dziennik Gazeta Prawna dailies.

AIB is expected to create a short-list of candidates later this week, press reports said Tuesday.

Poland's Treasury Minister Aleksander Grad said last month that state-controlled bank PKO BP, Poland's largest bank, was keen to acquire BZ WBK and that a successful bid could produce a regional banking giant.

According to UBS analysts, PKO BP is favoured by AIB in the takeover. Unconfirmed press reports said HSBC was also mentioned as an attractive bidder.

© 2010 AFP

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