mBank tackles the problem of Swiss franc loans, stirring speculation of sale

MBank’s decision to cleanse its portfolio of toxic Swiss franc loans again raises Commerzbank’s prospects for the possible sale of a Polish company – writes Bloomberg.

The fourth largest lender in Poland has put aside PLN 2 billion (USD 496 million) in connection with court actions concerning loans in Swiss francs, which according to the courts contain clauses unfavorable to borrowers.

Provisions are the greatest indication so far that mBank is ready to follow other Polish competitors in its attempts to solve the problem of foreign currency loans, writes Bloomberg.

The pandemic and legal issues shook the bank’s valuation and prevented Commerzbank from selling mBank in 2020. After the stock exchange valued mBank below book value in the last three years, the shares of the Polish company more than doubled in 2021.

“This may be the first step to get rid of mBank” – says Tomasz Noetzel, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst. – But the valuation may not yet be at the level that would constitute an attractive basis for Commerzbank to sell the profit-generating asset.

A spokesman for Commerzbank declined to comment on Bloomberg. Manfred Knof’s CEO told Handelsblatt last month that mBank is an “integral part” of the Commerzbank group and that its profits and costs are “fully” included in financial planning for the coming years.

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