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SOFIA (Bulgaria), January 12 (SeeNews) – Liechtenstein-based Novito Opportunities Fund has received a preliminary approval from Bulgaria's central bank to acquire 67.65% stake in Municipal Bank currently owned by the Sofia municipality, the central bank said.
The central bank said in a statement late on Thursday that the approval was issued following an analysis of the original information submitted by Novito Opportunities, additional information requested by the central bank, public register information and information from registers maintained by the central bank.
The Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) has also consulted with the Financial Market Authority of Liechtenstein, as well as with the Bulgarian State Agency of National Security.
According to the central bank, Novito Opportunities Fund is owned by Liechtenstein-based CAIAC Fund Management.
BNB also said it found that Bulgarian company Insa Oil has acquired non-voting shares issued by Novito Opportunities Fund. The central bank has informed Novito Opportunities that the conversion of the fund's shares without voting rights into shares with voting rights of the buyer of Municipal Bank could take place only after a preliminary approval by BNB.
On December 21, Novito Opportunities Fund received an approval for the acquisition from Bulgaria's Commission for Protection of Competition.
The privatisation agency of Sofia city said previously that it is offering for sale 3,880,388 Municipal Bank shares for a minimum total price of 45.65 million levs ($27.64 million/23.34 million euro).
Municipal Bank was the 15th largest bank in Bulgaria by assets among 22 banks and five branches of foreign banks as of end-November.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)