January 23, 2020 / 4:30 PM / 25 days ago

Italy's Intesa interested in Garanti BBVA Romania - source

MILAN/BUCHAREST, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo is among banks interested in Garanti BBVA Romania, the country’s 10th biggest bank by assets, a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday, confirming a press report.

Sources have said that Hungary’s OTP Bank has also set its sights on Garanti BBVA Romania, a unit of Garanti BBVA Turkey, which in turn is majority owned by Spanish banking group Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA).

A competitive process to sell the bank started last year, local press have reported.

Garanti BBVA Romania declined to comment on the process.

Il Sole 24 Ore daily said on Thursday the deal could be worth 400 million euros ($444 million) and cited local rival Banca Transilvania and Raiffeisen Bank as suitors.

With one of the highest core capital buffers among top Italian banks, Intesa runs the country’s biggest commercial banking network and has built a business model focused on fees earned through its wealth management and insurance businesses. ($1 = 0.9014 euros) (Reporting by Valentina Za and Luiza Ilie; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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