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Raiffeisen Bank postpones divestment of Hungarian unit

Austria-based Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) has reportedly suspended the planned disposal of its Hungarian unit, as the bank fears to sustain losses on the sale.

Two sources familiar with the situation was quoted by Reuters as saying that the deal has been temporarily stopped, although such a deal could be imminent.

In November 2013, Raiffeisen, one of the second-largest bank in central and eastern Europe, had said it was evaluating offers for the loss-making Hungarian operation, according to the news agency.

The proposed sale will enable Raiffeisen to concentrate on more promising markets in the region.

Meanwhile, Hungry-based Szechenyi Bank is negotiating with Raiffeisen to acquire its Hungarian operations, reported the news agency quoting Hungarian daily newspaper Magyar Hirlap.

Hungarian National Bank spokesman Istvan Binder told that the central bank had not received any application for licenses linked to a deal.

"The National Bank of Hungary is not aware of applications for licenses to acquire a controlling stake or for asset transfers related to the affected commercial banks," he said in an emailed response to a query.

"For both steps, or forms of sale, the license of the National Bank of Hungary would be needed," Binder added.