Russia's top lender Sberbank, which has recently agreed an acquisition of Austria's Volksbank, is considering buying two large Polish lenders, Millennium and Kredyt bank, Kommersant business daily quoted on Tuesday investment banking sources as saying.
"At the moment, Sberbank is looking at Millennium and Kredyt bank, which are up for sale," a source familiar with the situation said.
Another source said Sberbank had been showing interest in the Polish market for a long time and was interested in several banks there.
Bank Millennium is a subsidiary of one of Portugal's largest private lenders, Banco Comercial Portugues SA, which owns 65.5 percent in Millennium. It is Poland's sixth largest by assets.
Kredyt bank, the country's seventh largest, is a subsidiary of Belgium's KBC Group, which owns 80 percent in the lender. Both banks are up for sale due to a change in the parent company's policy.
Sberbank, which is losing market share at home, has been focusing on international expansion. CEO German Gref has said that the banks wants to earn at least five percent of net profit from international operations and is also eyeing Turkey.
"Should the deal take place, we expect the bank might acquire the new assets relatively cheaply ... given the current turbulent situation," VTB Capital said in a research note.
"However, we also think investors could react negatively to the bank expanding further (geographically), after the recent acquisition of VBI and Troika Dialog, the consolidation of which could tie up management's efforts (while the complicated situation on the global markets requires Sberbank to concentrate on its domestic business)."