RIGA - Latvia is not likely to sell the ailing Parex Bank this year, said AndrisSiksnis, the head of the Latvian branch of Nordea bank..
"My personal opinion is that not this year. In the coming 15 months itwill be difficult to sell Parex Bank as there are too many uncertain factorsabout Latvia's economic situation and the bank," he said.
Siksnis said that if the new government and the new Parex Bank'sadministration will operate actively, it will bring some clarity andtransparency and the bank resumes its active work, a successful sale cannot beexcluded. "However, the current situation is very complicated," hesaid.
Parex, Latvia's second largest bank, sought government assistance to staveoff financial trouble brought about by the global financial crisis. At the endof 2008, the Latvian government decided to take over a controlling stake inParex Bank through the state-owned Mortgage Bank.
The Latvian state now holds 84.83 percent of Parex Bank shares that hadbelonged to the bank's founders, major shareholders and top executives ValerijsKargins and Viktors Krasovickis.
The minority shareholders have kept the remaining 15.17 percent of ParexBank shares so far. The government's goal is to find an investor for the banksome time in future.
The state-owned Parex Bank shares have now been transferred from theMortgage Bank to the Latvian Privatization Agency.