(Updates with trader comment in third paragraph.)
Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Kredyt Bank SA of Poland jumped the most on record after Gazeta Wyborcza reported Banco Santander SA made a preliminary offer to buy the lender from KBC Groep NV.
The stock advanced as much as 17 percent to 13.5 zloty, the biggest intraday gain since it started trading in 1994. The shares were 12 percent higher at 12.9 zloty at 1:54 p.m. in Warsaw, trimming this year’s decline to 12 percent and valuing the bank at 3.5 billion zloty ($1.1 billion). KBC, the recipient of 7 billion euros ($9.5 billion) in Belgian government rescue funds, is selling Kredyt Bank and insurer Towarzystwo Ubezpieczen i Reasekuracji Warta SA to repay the state.
“The market speculation is that if Santander strikes a deal to buy the bank it will pay more than the current market price,” said Aleksander Mazur, a stock trader at Espirito Santo Investment SA in Warsaw.
KBC will decide within about two weeks whether to accept Santander’s bid, the newspaper said, citing two people it didn’t name. A spokesman for Santander, who asked not to be identified in line with company policy, declined to comment on the newspaper’s report when contacted by phone by Bloomberg News.
Santander bought Bank Zachodni WBK SA, Poland’s fifth- largest lender, from Allied Irish Banks Plc earlier this year to expand in central Europe’s largest financial-services market as growth in western Europe stalls.
-- With assistance from Charles Penty in Madrid. Editors: Linda Shen, Peter Branton
To contact the reporter on this story: Pawel Kozlowski in Warsaw firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at email@example.com