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Published: 29 august 2012 17:57

EBRD unlikely to exit Šiaulių Bankas while Ūkio Bankas set to increase stock capital

Šiaulių bankas
Alvydo Opulskio / 15min nuotr. / Šiaulių bankas

Analysts do not expect to hear any news this year about an exit of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) from Lithuania's Šiaulių Bankas, saying that the time is not favorable for this and that the EBRD will not rush to sell the growing business, the business daily Verslo Žinios reports.

However, some financial experts say that they would not be surprised to hear about a new financial investor in Ūkio Bankas, another Lithuanian bank.

"Back in March, the bank's shareholders decided to increase the capital (by 30 million litas). Also, it would be logical for the central bank to press Ūkio Bankas to bring in an investor from outside," the paper quoted Tadas Povilauskas, a Finasta analyst.

Arnas Žalys, Ūkio Bankas' deputy chairman and CFO, said that there are no obstacles to increasing the authorized share capital, but the management board has not yet taken decisions on the details of the capital increase.

Žalys would not comment on why the list of the bank's main shareholders no longer contains companies based in countries known as tax havens.

"I don't think that there have been any essential developments in this area. Vladimir Romanov remains the majority shareholder. Even if the proportions have changed somewhat, I don't think that this has had any major impact on the shareholder structure," the banker said.

Šiaulių Bankas CEO Audrius Žiugžda said, "The EBRD will definitely want to sell its stake some day and it will likely do so together with the other major shareholders it is acting in concert with. But there are no intentions to do so in the short term. The time is not favorable for this. Such rumors surfaced last spring after the British media misinterpreted comments on the EBRD's intentions."

Both Šiaulių Bankas and Ūkio Bankas are quoted on the blue-chip Main List of the NASDAQ OMX Vilnius stock exchange.

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