(MENAFN - AFP) Dutch bank Rabobank said on Thursday it would push to register its control of Bank Gospodarki Zywnosciowej of Poland by the end of next year, despite plans to reduce its interest in the Warsaw-based BGZ.
"Rabobank announces that it will use its best efforts to register a merger between BGZ and Rabobank Polska S.A before the end of 2013 -- and no later than mid-2014," it said in a statement released from its head office in Utrecht.
It added: "Rabobank aims to reduce its current 98 percent interest in BGZ to a 75 percent interest no later than mid-2016."
Asked why Rabobank was reducing its shares in BGZ, a major player in the Polish banking industry, Rabobank spokeswoman Milou Verhaegh told AFP it was done in line with requirements by financial watchdog, the Polish Financial Supervision Authority.
"The PFSA has indicated that it wanted to maintain a part of the shares as a free-float on the Warzaw Stock Exchange," she said.
"Rabobank aims to increase the free float (shares available for trading) no later than mid-2016, to a level of at least 25 percent through sale or new issuance of BGZ shares," the statement added, noting the Dutch banking giant would retain its controlling stake in BGZ.
The Dutch group announced the tender offer in April, saying it would buy all outstanding shares in BGZ in which it at that stage already owned a 60-percent stake.
Rabobank has about 10 million customers in 48 countries, while BGZ describes itself as one of the largest in Poland.