SOFIA (Bulgaria), June 30 (SeeNews) - The Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) said that it has granted a preliminary approval for the acquisition of all shares of Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria by Belgium-based KBC Bank.
The nod was given by the BNB under instructions received from the European Central Bank (ECB), the BNB said in a statement on Wednesday.
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The ECB has the sole competence to assess notifications of acquisitions of qualified holdings in credit institutions in collaboration with BNB after October 2020 when Bulgaria agreed to direct supervision under the EU's Single Supervisory Mechanism.
Belgium-based financial group KBC's banking unit agreed to acquire 100% of the shares of Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria, the Bulgarian banking subsidiary of Austria-based Raiffeisen Bank International, for 1.015 billion euro ($1.06 billion) in late 2021. The transaction also includes Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria’s fully-owned subsidiaries Raiffeisen Leasing Bulgaria, Raiffeisen Asset Management (Bulgaria), Raiffeisen Insurance Broker and Raiffeisen Service, according to a statement at the time.
In February this year, the Bulgarian financial regulator cleared the deal. The country's competition authority endorsed the acquisition in March.
KBC Group, which has been present in the Bulgarian financial sector since 2007, owns United Bulgarian Bank (UBB), insurance brand DZI, UBB Interlease, UBB Pension Insurance, UBB Asset Management, UBB Factoring, UBB Insurance Broker and KBC Branch Bulgaria.
($ = 0.9559 euro)
Raiffeisen Banka AD is among the biggest banks in SEE, for more reference take a look at Top 100 banks