WARSAW State-run Polish lender PKO BP PKO.WA and Alior Bank ALRR.WA have filed bids to buy the local unit of Austria's Raiffeisen (RBIV.VI), a source familiar with the sale said, as part of the government's plan to increase control over the banking sector.
Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) said in June it aimed to sell Raiffeisen Polbank IPO-RBP.WA, Poland's 10th-largest lender by assets, to a Polish-listed lender as an alternative to floating the unit on the Warsaw bourse GPW.WA.
The deadline for investors to submit initial offers was Sept. 6.
The source said PKO BP, Poland's largest lender by assets, and Alior, controlled by state insurer PZU PZU.WA, submitted offers on Tuesday. It was unclear whether they were the only bidders.
Raiffeisen and PKO BP declined to comment, while Alior was not immediately available.
Sources told Reuters earlier this ear that potential bidders also include Spain's Banco Santander (SAN.MC), France's BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA) and Dutch lender ING ING.AS.
Polbank could fetch 800 million to 1 billion euros ($881 million-$1.1 billion) when stripped of problematic Swiss franc-denominated mortgage portfolio.
A newly imposed Polish bank tax and low interest rates have made business more difficult for smaller banks in the country. At the same time Poland's conservative government wants state-run banks to raise their market share through takeovers.
Poland's banking sector is now 60 percent owned by foreign lenders such as Santander, Commerzbank (CBKG.DE) and UniCredit (CRDI.MI), which is also considering selling its local unit Pekao PEO.WA.
(Additional reporting by Marcin Goclowski in Warsaw and Kristi Knolle in Vienna; Writing by Agnieszka Barteczko; Editing by Marcin Goclowski, Justyna Pawlak and Susan Thomas)