The ownership structure of banks in Serbia will be significantly changed in the following months and all in all, there will be even fewer domestic banks, Beta agency reports.
Now there are seven domestic banks among 28 of them, five of which are under majority or minority state ownership, and two are privately owned.
There are three domestic banks on the list of top ten banks measured by balance sheet assets – “Komercijalna banka”, “AIK banka” and “Postanska stedionica”. However, “Komercijalna banka”, where state is the largest single shareholder with a stake of 41.7 percent, is in the process of privatization and it will likely be in the group of banks owned by foreign entities.
Minister of Finance Sinisa Mali has confirmed that “JUMBES banka” will be sold by the end of the year, in which state has a minor ownership stake of 20.2 percent and establishment of a work group that should define strategy and direction of the future development of “Srpska banka”, in which state owns 76.7 percent of shares and state-owned enterprise “Jugoimport SDPR” owns remaining 23.3. percent. is ongoing.
Plan of Serbian government is for “Postanska stedionica” to remain state-owned. State has ownership stake of 74.6 percent in that bank, while public enterprise “Posta Srbije” owns remaining shares.
“Postanska stedionica” has been growing in the past couple of years, by taking over clients and deposits of bankrupt state-owned banks – “Razvojna banka Vojvodine”, “Agrobanka”, “Privredna banka Beograd”, and as of this year’s April it has also taken over management of “Jugobanka” and “Jugobanka Kosovska Mitrovica”.
What is certain is that “AIK banka, the largest privately owned domestic bank, does not plan to change ownership structure, but continues to further expand its business in Serbia, but also on other markets.
Last year, “AIK banka” ended up as the most profitable bank in Serbia, with a profit of 12 billion dinars, three times higher than 2016, which was influenced by the takeover of “Alfa banka”, as well as rationalization of business and service innovation.
Otherwise, there were 35 banks in Serbia a decade ago and expectations suggest that such trend of enlarging of the banking sector will continue, in accordance with size and strength of the market on which they do business.