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Polish regulator extends IPO deadline for RBI's Polish unit

The Polish Financial Supervision Authority extended the deadline for Raiffeisen Bank International AG to float at least 15% of Polish unit Raiffeisen Bank Polska SA on the Warsaw Stock Exchange to May 15, 2018.

The regulator said Aug. 1 that it hoped RBI would increase the attractiveness of the IPO by offering new, not just existing shares of the Polish unit; increasing the free float above the required 15% to improve the liquidity of the shares; inviting individual investors to participate in the offering; and improving communication with the market.

The FSA noted that it would refrain from penalizing the bank for missing the previous, June 30 deadline as it could weaken the effectiveness of the IPO process. It also expressed hope that "the active and positive actions of the RBI leadership will lead to the implementation of the bank's obligations and that the regulator will not be forced to apply sanctions foreseen in Polish legislation." Potential sanctions for lenders failing to fulfill their commitments to the FSA include stripping shareholders of voting rights and an order to sell shares.

RBI, which is supposed to float the Polish unit under a commitment made to the FSA with regard to the purchase of Polbank EFG SA in 2012, suspended the IPO proceedings in early July. The bank cited insufficient interest from investors in the offering, with analysts suggesting that the price eyed by RBI was too high.