RBI offloads direct banking unit Zuno to Alfa Bank

RBI offloads direct banking unit Zuno to Alfa Bank

Raiffeisen Bank International has agreed a deal to sell its direct banking subsidiary Zuno to ABH Holdings, the Luxembourg-based parent company of the Alfa Banking Group, as part of a series of measures to boost its capital buffers.

The Austrian banking group announced in Feburary that it would look for buyers for its operation in Poland and Slovenia, as well as the direct banking unit Zuno, as part of an effort to reduce its risk-weighted assets. At the time, RBI said it would disposes of businesses which generated "low returns, have high capital consumption or are of limited strategic fit".

Launched in 2010, Zuno bank currently commands 250,000 clients in the Czech Republic and in Slovakia. The bank managed total deposits in the amount of almost EUR750 million and a total loan portfolio of about EUR65 million. It currently employs 200 full time staff.

The sale is expected to open up new opportunities for Zuno to expand beyond its core markets in the Czech Republic and Slovenia under new ownership.

Petr Aven, Alfa bank chairman says the company is committed to pumping fresh capital into Zuno to drive the business into new territories. "We believe Zuno has strong potential to grow both its product offering, and its geographic reach, into other European markets," he says. "At Alfa Banking Group we have a strong track record of investing for the long term and supporting our businesses to grow."

Details of the transaction will be disclosed after closing, which is expected in the first quarter of 2016.

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