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PPF looking at divesting or taking on partners in some Home Credit markets

12/02/2021 | 01:15pm EST

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czech investment group PPF is looking at possibly selling or taking in partners in units of its Home Credit consumer lending business in some countries where it sees limited potential, PPF's Chief Financial Officer Katerina Jiraskova said on Thursday.

PPF may also look for partners for funding in other markets that are promising, and continue on its own where prospects are best, she told Reuters in an interview.

Home Credit has taken a hit since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The company posted a 178 million euro ($201.14 million) loss in the first half of 2021, caused by a write-off of older portfolios - a lot of it in China - and the impact of the pandemic in India.

Asked how the group, operating also in Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Kazakhstan, Russia as well as the Czech Republic and Slovakia, would look in a year's time, Jiraskova said: "Hard to say."

"There are countries where we believe there is strong development potential and we want to develop them further, and we are quite happy to develop them further by ourselves," she said.

"There is a second category where we see value creation potential as limited, growth limited, so these countries might be potentially sold, partnered with someone," she said, refusing to identify which countries fell into which category.

Another group of countries has potential but Home Credit may invite partners into the business to provide wholesale funding for its lending, she said.

Home Credit saw operating revenue in China drop to 462 million euros in the first half, from 1.08 billion a year go. It said its other Asian markets apart from India had improved since 2020.

PPF has put its Czech and Slovak Home Credit businesses up for sale to MONETA Money Bank as part of a proposed transaction to be voted on by MONETA shareholders on Dec. 20.

($1 = 0.8850 euros)

(Reporting by Jan Lopatka and Jason Hovet)

ę Reuters 2021
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