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TIRANA (Albania), January 18 (SeeNews) – Albania's competition authority said on Friday it has approved the sale of the 98.83% stake in Tirana Bank held by Greece's Piraeus Bank to Albanian investment group Balfin and Macedonia's Komercijalna Banka.
The competition committee has endorsed the agreement for concentration in Albania's banking services market, it said in a statement.
Piraeus Bank announced in August that it has entered into an agreement with Balfin and Komercijalna Banka, for the sale of shares in its subsidiary in Albania, Tirana Bank.
"Total consideration amounts to 57.3 million euro ($65.3 million) for the 98.83% stake Piraeus Bank holds in Tirana Bank," the Greek lender said at the time.
Komercijalna said in a filing to the Macedonian Stock Exchange in August that Balfin will own a majority stake in Tirana Bank after the purchase. Tirana Bank will continue to operate as a separate entity, Komercijalna Banka added.
Established in 1996, Tirana Bank was the first private bank to start operations in Albania. It operates 39 branches and 71 ATMs across the country, according to data from the Albanian lender's website.
Including the investment in Tirana Bank, Balfin's investment portfolio totals $1.4 billion, with investments in Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Montenegro, Austria and the United Kingdom.
Komercijalna Banka is Macedonia's largest lender, with assets in excess of 1.7 billion euro.
($ = 0.87786 euro)