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SOFIA (Bulgaria), May 10 (SeeNews) - Eurobank Bulgaria, which operates under the Postbank brand, has received clearance from the Commission for Protection of Competition to acquire a 99.9819% stake in peer Piraeus Bank Bulgaria from Greece's Piraeus Bank, the regulator said on Friday.
The two lenders will hold a combined market share of 11.5% in terms of retail banking, and 9% regarding wholesale banking, making them the fourth largest player on both segments, the anti-trust body said in its decision.
According to the competition authority's methodology, a market share below 15% is not troubling in terms of possible impact on competition.
Eurobank Bulgaria, part of Greece's Eurobank Ergasias group, received preliminary approval from Bulgaria's central bank to acquire the majority interest in Piraeus Bank Bulgaria in March.
In November 2018, Eurobank signed an agreement to acquire Piraeus Bank Bulgaria. The value of Piraeus Bank Bulgaria's shares is 75 million euro ($84.3 million) and the transaction will have limited effect on Eurobank's common equity tier 1 capital, Eurobank Bulgaria said at the time.
At the end of March, Piraeus Bank Bulgaria was the country's 9th largest lender by assets, while Eurobank Bulgaria was fifth, according to the most recent central bank data.
($ = 0.8897 euro)