Estonian fintech IuteCredit buys 10% of Moldovan bank Energbank
CHISINAU, Moldova, Jan. 12 (SeeNews) – Estonian financial technology company IuteCredit announced on Wednesday that it has acquired a 9.976% stake in Moldovan lender Energbank for 1.7 million euros ($1.9 million) in a the goal of becoming a bank.
IuteCredit bought 199,519 Energbank shares at a price of 170.44 lei ($9.5/8.4 euros) each on the Moldovan stock exchange, the fintech company said in a press release.
The stake is one of four stock lots that Energbank has said it wants to sell.
In November 2020, Energbank announced that it was looking for a strategic investor to take over 49.8% of its share capital at a price of 179.24 million lei. The bank said it was selling a total of 995,984 shares divided into four lots with prices ranging from 130 lei per unit to 222.8 lei per share.
In October, the Moldovan antitrust body approved the takeover of a 59.39% stake in Energbank by IuteCredit, but the deal is still pending formal approval from the central bank.
“As well-informed sources have already suggested to the Moldovan press, we have in fact received approval from the Moldovan central bank to buy Energbank. We will continue to work towards our goal,” said Tarmo Sild, CEO of ‘IuteCredit Europe.
In addition to acquiring the bank, IuteCredit plans to expand beyond its current core markets in the Balkans and Moldova in the coming years and expand its service portfolio. “Most of today’s revenue comes from installments and loans, but in the future, digital payments could represent half of the company’s portfolio,” the CEO added.
Founded in 2008, IuteCredit specializes in consumer credit and serves clients in Moldova, Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Banca Comerciala Energbank was established in 1997. At the end of April, it operated 45 units across Moldova, offering a full range of services aimed primarily at individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises. At the end of November, the bank had 2.96 billion lei in assets.
Since January 2019, Energbank has been under the management of the central bank of Moldova BNM. In 2019, the BNM said minority shareholders holding a 52.77% stake in Energbank between them will have to cede their stake and some of their rights were suspended after an investigation revealed that the stakes had been acquired without his permission. In early October 2020, BNM said another shareholder holding 10% of Energbank shares had to sell its stake in the bank for the same reasons.
Energbank has 14 shareholders with stakes of up to 10% each, according to data released by the lender in October 2021.
(1 euro = 20.3729 Moldovan lei)
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