OREANDA-NEWS. June 25, 2012. The selection of buyers of the state joint-stock company's "Mortgage and Land Bank of Latvia" (hereinafter - the Mortgage Bank) commercial part is completed - safe and solid buyers of four commercial asset packages have been found who want to buy assets at the market price thus ensuring further development of the Mortgage Bank's commercial part in the private sector.    

The decision to sell the Mortgage Bank's commercial part is a successive continuation of the Cabinet of Ministers (CoM) decision of 2009 to stop commercial activities of the Mortgage Bank and to focus only on tasks of the development institution. 

The joint-stock company "Swedbank" expressed the best offer for three commercial parts, including commercial loans to individuals and legal persons, payment and deposit services, as well as the leasing company. But the best offer for the 2nd tier pension plan management package was expressed by the company "SEB Wealth Management" of the joint-stock company "SEB banka" group. Thus contracts on purchasing of respective commercial parts will be concluded with the joint-stock company "Swedbank" and "SEB Wealth Management".  

More than 100 potential applicants were addressed during the buyer selection process. The main selection criteria were the best possible price, as well as reputation and stability. Involved parties - the Ministry of Finance, consultant "SEB Enskilda" and the Mortgage Bank have done their best to conclude the best and the most advantageous transaction in the current economic situation in order to provide further banking services to clients of the Mortgage Bank's commercial part at the highest possible level.

Today contracts were signed and within coming six months the client transition process will implemented that is said to be completed by the end of the year. Therefore now it is not yet possible to say exact final sum of transactions. It will be possible after transactions will be concluded completely - transition of clients to new banks by the end of this year, as well as making the decision on remaining two commercial asset packages that are still being discussed with investors. Currently evaluation of assets of these packages is underway so that a decision could be made whether it is advantageous for the state to keep these assets or sell them.

Due to the planned sale of the commercial part bank's assets will be re-evaluated. In order to meet capital indicators the bank's capital with consent of the Saeima was increased by 25 million lats. These funds are necessary for successful implementation of the transition process and sale of all commercial assets. The Saeima decision to increase the bank's capital does not have any impact on the annual budget deficit because these funds were planned already in the last year's budget.   

Now and during the whole transition process the Mortgage Bank continues to act in a stable and safe way providing services to clients in the commercial segment, as well as implementing national development programmes. The Mortgage Bank is ready to implement the commercial part sale process ensuring fulfilment of all contractual obligations and availability of services to clients. The transition of clients to new banks was organized during a long enough period time. Clients will receive information about all necessary actions individually by mail.

The transformation of the Mortgage Bank is aimed at establishing a development institution to implement state aid programmes through efficient use of the Mortgage Bank's infrastructure, intellectual and financial potential, transformation of the bank in a way that is advantageous to the state and at the same time ensuring continuity of the implementation of state aid programmes. During the transformation process activities of the Mortgage Bank are focused on important economic directions - financing of small and medium-size enterprises, promotion of new enterprises, development of infrastructure and other national development projects within the framework of CoM approved programmes.   

Since the development institution has mainly a complementary role and it does not have to compete with other market participants, the Mortgage Bank's part that is not directly linked with performing development functions, namely, the commercial part, will be developed in the private sector.

The transformation of the Mortgage Bank is done according to the concept of the CoM approved on November 24, 2009 on the transformation of the state joint-stock company "Mortgage and Land Bank of Latvia" into a development bank and the Mortgage Bank transformation plan, which was considered on April 12, 2012 and envisages separation of the bank's commercial part, which is not connected with performing development functions.