Hungarian lender OTP Bank is holding talks to buy controlling stake in Moldova’s Mobiasbanca from French lender Societe Generale (SocGen), Hungarian business daily Vilaggazdasag reported citing a Moldovan website.

The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Mobiasbanca acquisition:

Mobiasbanca is considered to be the third largest bank by assets in Moldova. SocGen holds a two-thirds direct stake in the bank, Reuters reported.

OTP Bank till now had no direct footprint in Moldova but has subsidiaries in neighbouring markets of Ukraine and Romania.

In December last year, OTP Bank signed an agreement to acquire SocGen banking unit in Serbia in a bid to increase its presence in the Eastern Europe.

Prior to that, it signed a deal in August 2018  to acquire SocGen’s Bulgaria and Albania businesses.

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OTP has used these series of acquisitions to expand its balance sheet and increased its net profit to approximately €1bn, according to Reuters.

OTP Bank, the Reuters report added, still has a “sizeable war chest and remains interested in acquisitions.”

OTP Bank in April last year terminated the agreement to acquire Romanian lender Banca Romaneasca (BROM) from the National Bank of Greece (NBG) after Romanian apex bank refused to approve the deal.