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Reuters: Poland’s largest bank PKO offers to purchase Luminor

Poland’s largest bank – PKO Bank Polski – has voiced a proposal to purchase Luminor bank, which was formed last month by Swedish Nordea bank and Norwegian DNB bank, as reported Reuters with reference to two anonymous sources.

One of the sources said that this offer was declined. However, PKO remains interested in entering the markets in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

PKO denies information regarding ever putting forth such an offer. Neither Nordea nor DNB have provided any comments about this to Reuters.

«PKO Bank Polski has never submitted an offer to buy Luminor, neither has it expressed an interest in buying it. The bank is not conducting any actions aimed at taking over any other banks in the Baltic States,» as mentioned in PKO’s released statement.

Both sources told Reuters that PKO wants to perform investments in Baltic States. The bank does not want to build up its presence from the ground up, however.

«PKO said it does not want to grow its operations here from zero. PKO said they talked with Luminor about the acquisition but received absolutely no interest,» said one of the sources.

The source did not mention the reasons why DNB and Nordea declined PKO’s offer or if talks are planned for the future.

The second source said that certain countries of the region would welcome PKO’s entry. Still they are skeptical about any possibilities, because the market is strictly controlled by Scandinavian banks.

Vytautas Plunksnis, chairman of Lithuanian Investors association, said: «The Polish government wants PKO to expand, so it seems logical for the bank to be present in the Baltics, which is Poland’s neighbourhood».

With assets worth EUR 67.5 billion, PKO is the largest bank in Central and Eastern Europe. 51% of its shares are owned by the Polish state. In 2014, PKO bought Nordea’s business in Poland for EUR 660 million.


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