Serbian govt unofficially decides to sell bank to NLB


The paper reports that the contract to sell the bank, which has a 11% market share in Serbia, is ready and is to be signed soon.

It is not clear how much NLB is to pay for Komercijalna Banka, but media reported in the past months that its bid reached up to EUR 450 million.

Rival bids have been submitted by the Serbian bank AIK Banka and Austria's Raiffeisen Bank International.

In early February, Serbian Finance Minister Siniša Mali said that the sales agreement could be signed within a month.

However, the transaction was cast into doubt after Serbian central bank governor Jorgovanka Tabaković assessed that the state could be a good owner and Komercijalna Banka CEO Vladimir Medan said the bank was able to grow regardless of its ownership.

NLB would not comment on the deal, but it did say that Serbia was one of its key strategic markets and that the bank would expand in the market either through organic growth or takeovers.

NLB group's Serbian subsidiary NLB Banka Beograd posted a 29% growth in net loans to customers last year, the biggest in the group.