Efforts by Poland’s eurosceptic Law and Justice (PiS) party to curb what it considers as excessive foreign ownership have resulted in numerous mergers and acquisitions in the country’s banking sector. Now Deutsche Bank has begun the sale of parts of its Polish banking operations, market sources told Reuters.
As reported by the Reuters news agency, Deutsche will most likely split the business, selling portfolios of zloty-denominated mortgages, consumer loans and loans for small and medium firms.
It will keep Swiss franc denominated mortgages, following the regulator’s demand that foreign investors exiting Poland have to keep hold of foreign exchange-denominated mortgages.
But Deutsche might find it challenging to sell its Polish business due to its low profitability and the increased role of the state in the sector, which makes it difficult for smaller players to compete with big state-run rivals, the sources said.
The Polish bank has suffered from record low interest rates, a bank tax and obligatory payments to a guarantee fund and it has closed its Polish brokerage unit.
The price tag could be between 1.7 and 1.8 billion zlotys ($456-483m), the source said, while another valued the assets at more than 400 million euros ($448m), reported Reuters.
Potential bidders could include Deutsche Bank’s fellow German lender, Commerzbank, which owns mBank Poland’s fourth largest, Spain’s Santander, the owner of Poland’s third largest bank BZ WBK, and the Polish unit of Portugal’s Millennium BCP, the sources told Reuters.