Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bank of Cyprus buys stake in Romanian lender

ATHENS, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Bank of Cyprus, the island's biggest lender, said on Wednesday it has bought a 9.7 percent stake in Romania's Banca Transilvania for 58 million euros ($85 million).

"Bank of Cyprus proceeded to the acquisition purely on investment grounds," the Cypriot lender said in a statement, adding that it did not change its current strategy in Romania, where it already operates 11 branches.

Banca Transilvania, listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange, has 532 branches in Romania and an 8.5 percent share of the country's deposit market. Its single biggest shareholder is the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), with an 15 percent stake.

The acquisition has no impact on the Cypriot lender's capital adequacy or financial fundamentals, Bank of Cyprus said. Bank of Cyprus has a network of 588 branches in 10 countries, most of them in Russia, Greece and Cyprus.

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