UniCredit Buys Alpha Bank in Romania and Becomes the Third Bank in the Country. The Group Takes 9% Of The Parent Bank From Greece

As part of the transaction, it also agreed to acquire most of Alpha’s Romanian activities for 300 million euros, the quoted source added.

The fund said UniCredit bought the Alpha shares at a price of 1.39 euros each, which represents a 9.4% level above the closing price on the day before the initial announcement.

The sovereign debt crisis

Greece attracted significant investment as its economy strengthened after the crisis, prompting S&P Global to raise the country’s rating to investment grade in October.

HFSF sold its 1.4% stake in Eurobank last month and is expected to sell around 20% of National Bank of Greece in the coming days.

In the previous decade, the fund acquired stakes in the country’s four biggest banks, injecting around 50 billion euros to recapitalize them during the country’s financial crisis.

The withdrawal of the Greeks from Romania

Alpha Bank is the only bank with Greek capital most active in Romania, after Banca Transilvania previously took over Bancpost, and Eximbank took over Banca Românească, which was owned by the National Bank of Greece.

The new bank will be the third in the Romanian banking system, with a 12% share of the market, according to , being exceeded only by Banca Transilvania and BCR.

Market movements

It is not the only recent banking transaction in Romania: . This is the former Piraeus Bank and was owned by the American fund JC Flowers. He had also bought Bank Leumi, incorporating it into First Bank.

At the same time, he wrote on October 25 that the Hungarians from OTP Bank are negotiating the sale of the local subsidiary to Banca Transilvania for 360 million euros, with Raiffeisen Bank also in negotiations.

According to the cited source, OTP made the decision to sell after the National Bank of Romania (BNR) made it clear that it would not be able to expand through acquisitions. OTP tried in 2018 to buy Banca Românească, and in 2014 it bought the local subsidiary of Millenium Bank in Portugal.

The Romanian government recently introduced a , as part of a package of measures to increase budget revenues.

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