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Dec 27, 2007 16:08 EEST
December 27 (SeeNews) - Icelandic diversified holding company Milestone Group bought 75.9% of Macedonian commercial bank Komercijalno-Investiciona Banka (KIB Kumanovo) for 267.6 million denars ($6.3million/4.3 million euro), the Macedonian Securities Commission said on Friday.
“The Securities Commission announces that the takeover of 75.9%, or 97,647 of the ordinary shares, of Komercijalno-Investiciona Banka by Iceland’s Milestone Group is approved,” the Commission said in a statement posted on its website.
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Officials of neither company were immediately available to comment.
Skopje-listed KIB said in August it had decided to propose to the bank's shareholders to sell their stakes to an unnamed buyer. At the end of July Macedonia's Securities Commission allowed Milestone Group to make a public buyout bid for KIB's ordinary shares .
KIB Kumanovo's capital is distributed in 134,752 shares, of which 125,997 are ordinary shares, 2,658 are owned by the state privatisation agency and 6,097 are priority shares. The shares, with a par value of 2,741.6 denars, are traded on the official segment of the bourse in Skopje. They closed at 2,500 denars on Wednesday, unchanged from Tuesday, as no shares changed hands, according to latest data available from the MSE.
The bank, 97.9% owned by private capital, turned to a preliminary net profit of 7.1 million denars ($166,000/115,000 euro) in the first half of 2007, from a 52.6 million denar loss a year earlier. It ended 2006 with an audited loss of 77.1 million denars after it posted a 64.1 million denars loss in 2005.
KIB Kumanovo (www.kib.com.mk), based in the town of Kumanovo in northeastern Macedonia, describes itself as a regional bank. It has nine branches and offices in the country and focuses on small- and medium-sized enterprises.
At the end of March, it ranked third in terms of assets among the nine small banks operating in Macedonia, a southeast European country of nearly two million people. At the moment 19 banks operate in Macedonia, of which the country's central bank ranks nine as small, or having assets lower than 18.5 million denars each.
Milestone owns and operates Sjova, one of the largest composite insurance companies in Iceland. It also owns a 7% stake in Glitnir Bank, one of Iceland’s largest financial institutions, and holds an 83.5% stake in real estate investment management and asset financing company Askar Capital. Milestone's assets are diversified in companies within the financial sectors in Iceland, Sweden and Luxembourg.
"So far, we have particular interests only in Macedonia from the Balkan countries," Milestone deputy CEO Johannes Sigurdsson told SeeNews by phone from Reykjavik in an earlier conversation. "Other areas of interests of Milestone are pharmaceuticals and real estate," he added.
(1 euro = 61.86 Macedonian denars)
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