Analysts are likely to say that 29 banks were too many in a country with gross domestic product (GDP) below 37 billion euros last year. However, since the existing foreign banks have already been bought by the existing domestic banks, they are in an unexpected situation.
In the meantime, Miodrag Kostic, a 100-year-old owner of AIK Bank, withdrew for the first move to acquire Alpha Bank.
Last year, AIK Bank recorded a net profit of € 118 million in Serbia, a fourth capital of € 5 billion and a total of € 1.8 billion in approved loans.
The new players in this market are Andrej Jovanovic and Bojan Milovanovic. They purchased Nova kreditna bank Maribor's Serbian branch directly, renamed Direct Bank and "bought" Pireus and Findomestik Bank.
Prior to joining Piraeus, at the end of 2017, Direct Bank was ranked 10th with a profit of 16 million euros, ranking 19th with a total assets of 0.8% (1.5% of Pireus Bank's stake) and a capital of € 33 million Pireus Bank's capital is tripled to € 108 million.
Many people do not remember that almost 80 banks operating in Serbia 20 years ago were almost all domestic. Already in 2004, the number dropped to 47 and new trends such as the Bank of China and the Mira Bank of the UAE arrived in the meantime.
In the field of expertise, we are almost certain that the banking market in Serbia is still tightening, as banks with almost 1-2% market share can hardly survive in every difficult economy.
There are 14 banks with a market share of less than 1.5%. Of the six largest banks, Intesa, Komercijalna bank, Unnikredit, Societe Generale, Raiffeisen and AIK bank accounted for 62.2%, only 8%, but only 7.5% of total loans.
Nearly everybody in Big Six has a large share of 14 small banks. That's why economic reporter Miško Brkić reminds me of an army that reminds me of six "Guliver" and "Liliputans" in the Serbian banking market.
He surely believes that some of the existing banks will be the target of the acquisition. In the end, Treasury Secretary Sinisa Mali announced plans to sell shares in Jubmes Bank and Komercijalna until the end of the year next year, and a strategy for the Serbian bank is under preparation. In addition, for several months, the public has speculated who can take over the Societe Generale Bank, which has already withdrawn from the Croatian market.
"We are not sure if we can survive in 10 long-term banks with a market share of less than 0.4 percent, of which 6 percent is net loss, as long as shareholders are still able to cover those minus costs. The power relations of the sector have changed dramatically, but we will not be surprised until something similar happens in other countries, "Brkic said.
In favor of this paper, the concentration on the Serbian market is low. In Croatia, the four largest banks account for 70% of total assets, while in Serbia the four largest banks have approved 47% of all loans. Ivan Nikolic, a member of the Serbian National Bank's Council of Governors, therefore believes that the merger is not only hopeful, but desirable.
"This is a positive process," said Nicole Rick, who recently said that there is no problem because the bank buys domestic investors in a beta agency. "This is a positive process. Please bring it. " A member of the NBS committee previously said, "We have experience that foreign owners have not always succeeded."
There are only two domestic banks with "Komercijalna" and "AIK Banka" who are currently looking for buyers of Komercijalna Banka.
Looking at the business results for 2017, AIK Bank, which earned the most money when buying a new bank, recorded net income of 118 million euros last year. Miodrag Kostic has already shown clear intentions for further expansion in Serbia and the region.
He has already joined the EU as the co-owner of Gorenjska Banka as the only businessman of virtually Serbian origin. As a result, AIK Bank customers can offer additional benefits and facilitate business through EU partners and a bank in Slovenia.
The approval of Gorenjska Bank's stake in Kostic of the European and Slovenian central banks was confirmed by AIK Bank in a strong, stable and liquid capital position, with savings accounts with the lowest ratio of deposits, especially interest rates .