Polish seek way over regulatory hurdle
Published 26/06/2010 | 05:00
POLAND'S financial watchdog chief will head to Ireland as early as next week to discuss the sale of Bank Zachodni WBK, the Polish unit of AIB.
But a concerted effort favouring a domestic buyer could put Poland at odds with European Union regulators, a Reuters report said yesterday.
The visit is seen by analysts as adding to efforts by Polish authorities anxious to strengthen the banking sector by reducing foreign control, which is around 70pc.
Warsaw is concerned that foreign domination could expose its banking system and wider economy to grave risk if parent banks withdraw funding in a future financial crisis.
Earlier this week, Polish treasury minister Alexander Grad threw his weight behind PKO BP's likely bid for AIB's 70pc stake in BZ WBK, worth some $3bn (€2.4bn).
PKO is expected to face off against several large European banks, including UniCredit, Santander, BNP Paribas and Russia's Sberbank. An industry source said preliminary bids are due on Monday and binding offers are required in September.