Bankinter not looking for mergers and acquisitions in the Portuguese market

 In Banks, News

Spanish bank Bankinter is looking to continue its sustained growth in Portugal but is ruling out any mergers or takeovers … for now.

In an interview with the Portuguese business daily Jornal Económico, the bank’s CEO María Dolores Dancausa says that for now Bankinter will grow its own business activity ‘organically’ rather than by increasing market share and earnings through acquisitions.
The CEO was talking on Thursday after presenting the bank’s first half of year results for 2020 in which Grupo Bankinter presented net profits of €109.1 million in the first quarter of 2020, which represented a like-for-like fall of around 65%.
That fall reflected the provisions of €177 million set aside to deal with the Covid-19 crisis between April and June and to which were added provisions of €15 million in the first quarter of the year.
“We continue to be focused on sustained growth and on our projects. We’ve not planned any merger. We don’t want to merge with anyone and we don’t want to be bought out,” said Maria Dolores Dancausa.
However, back in February the Portugal Country Manger of Bankinter, Alberto Ramos had admitted that Bankinter was looking into the possibility of buying Novo Banco if and when it was put up for sale.
But Maria Dolores Dancausa said, “On our strategy for Portugal, we’re following the same strategy we’ve been pursuing in Spain. We believe that we have a huge growth potential in Portugal, which is borne out by our results which were very positive.”
“Our idea is to grow in an organic way and with the market share we’ve had for quite some time, which shows that we have become a relevant player in Portuguese banking,” said the CEO.
In Portugal, Bankinter’s activity generated a pre-tax profit of €17 million which represents a like-for-like fall of 50% because of the €25 million in provisions set aside for the macroeconomic situation.
Nevertheless, Mária Dolores Dancausa believes that Portugal’s activity has been “very positive”.
“I think that Bankinter Portugal has had an extraordinary performance and is growing in all revenue streams. It is growing in terms of interest margins, in commissions and is gaining market share. I think that we have a brilliant future. I have always said that Portugal is for Bankinter a long-term investment,” she said.
“Our intention is to continue growing in a profitable way, which is what we’ve done,” added the CEO.
Grupo Bankinter’s CFO Jacobo Diaz said, “The moratoria granted by Bankinter in Portugal have totalled €1Bn — 15% of its total portfolio — €571 million corresponding to mortgage moratoriums, €430 million on company loans and €40 million on consumer loans,” referring to the total amount of loans and interest that has been temporarily frozen by the bank in Portugal.
He also said that the €177 million in extraordinary provisions set aside for the quarter were sufficient to cover the upcoming period.