German-Norwegian joint venture to solidify Baltic bank subsidiaries

  • 2005-11-16
  • From wire reports
VILNIUS - Nord/LB Holding, a Denmark-registered subsidiary of Germany's Nord/LB (Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale), has taken over ownership of two Baltic banks - Nord/LB Lietuva and Nord/LB Latvija 's as part of the creation of a new German-Nordic joint venture that will launch operations in January 2006.

The joint venture, DnB Nord, will focus on the Danish, Finnish, Baltic and Polish market. It will be headquartered in Copenhagen.

The agreement on establishing DnB Nord was signed in June this year. It is the first joint project between a state-owned German bank, Nord/LB, and an international private bank, DnB NOR. DnB NOR is the largest Norwegian financial services group.

The new bank will be 51 percent owned by DnB NOR and 49 percent owned by Nord/LB.

As part of the agreement, Nord/LB Holding took over the ownership of a 93.11 percent stake in Nord/LB Lietuva from Nord/LB on Nov. 11 and 99.76 percent in Nord/LB Latvija at the same time.

Nord/LB Latvija spokesperson Teika Lapsa said that DnB NOR would purchase 51 percent in Nord/LB Holding in the near future and that this would conclude the creation of DnB Nord.

DnB Nord will have 550,000 customers, a staff of about 1,500 at 111 branches, and total assets of over 2.5 billion euros. Germany's Nord/LB and DnB NOR will continue operating in their local markets under the same name. However, in the other markets they will be represented by the joint venture.

Nord/LB Latvija ranked fifth among Latvia's 23 banks by assets at the end of September, while Nord/LB Lietuva ranked third in Lithuania.