The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has acquired a stake of around 4.5% in Bank BGŻ BNP Paribas, the Polish arm of French banking group BNP Paribas, for PLN430m ($113.74m).

The move comes shortly after BNP Paribas acquired the operations of Raiffeisen Bank Polska. The acquired entity was merged with Bank BGŻ BNP Paribas.

The EBRD investment aims to support Bank BGZ BNP Paribas in realising economies of scale following the merger with Raiffeisen Bank Polska.

It is also said to enable the majority owner BNP Paribas to increase the free float of BGŻ BNP Paribas’ shares on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, as committed to the Polish Financial Supervision Authority.

Furthermore, it is expected to support the competitive environment of the Polish banking sector.

EBRD director for EU banks in the Financial Institutions Group Lucyna Stańczak-Wuczyńska said: “This is a landmark transaction which will strengthen and enhance competition in the Polish banking sector.

“Both are extremely important to provide ongoing support to Poland’s fast growing economy where the demand for finance is high.”

One of the largest banks in Poland, Bank BGŻ BNP Paribas holds a 5% market share in loans. It also has a 4.5% market share in deposits in the domestic market.

In addition, the bank caters to the agro-segment with a 33% market share in loans to the agri-food sector.