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OTP in talks to buy Garanti BBVA’s Romanian unit – media

BUCHAREST/BUDAPEST, Jan 22 (Reuters) – Hungary’s OTP Bank is in talks to buy Garanti BBVA’s Romanian unit, Romanian online financial news outlet said, citing banking market sources.

Sources in Hungary told Reuters on Wednesday that OTP was interested in the Romanian bank. Garanti is Romania’s tenth biggest bank by assets.

OTP and Garanti did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

OTP’s chief executive and chairman Sandor Csanyi said earlier this year that OTP was interested in buying more banks in Slovenia after purchasing the regional unit of France’s Societe Generale last year.

Csanyi has also said OTP, which operates banks in 12 European countries, plans to expand into new countries and possibly beyond Europe.

OTP and Garanti started the due diligence process last year, the banking sources said.

OTP shares were trading 0.6% higher at 14,370 forints at 1008 GMT, roughly in line with the main market index

Garanti BBVA Romania is held by Garanti BBVA Turkey. Spanish financial group Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) is the majority shareholder of Garanti BBVA Turkey, according to the official website of the Romanian bank. (Reporting by Marton Dunai and Luiza Ilie; Editing by Mark Potter)

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