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UPDATE 1 - Albania's Balfin, Macedonia's Komercijalna Banka to buy Tirana Bank from Piraeus

UPDATE 1 - Albania's Balfin, Macedonia's Komercijalna Banka to buy Tirana Bank from Piraeus cozyta/Shutterstock.com

SKOPJE (Maceodnia), August 8 (SeeNews) - Macedonia's Komercijalna Banka [MSE:KMB] and Albanian investment group Balfin have signed a binding agreement to acquire Albania's Tirana Bank from Greece's Piraeus Bank, the Macedonian lender said on Wednesday.

Balfin will own a majority stake in Tirana Bank, Komercijalna Banka said in a statement filed with the Macedonian Stock Exchange.

Tirana Bank will continue to operate as a separate entity, Komercijalna Banka added.

The deal is subject to approval from the respective regulators.

Balfin and Komercijalna Banka will focus on strengthening Tirana Bank's reputation, allowing the lender to expand its operations in Albania.

Piraeus Bank owns a 96.71% stake in Tirana Bank, according to data from the Albanian lender's website.

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.

Including the investment in Tirana Bank, Balfin's investment portfolio totals $1.4 billion (1.2 billion euro), with investments in Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Austria and the United Kingdom.

Komercijalna Banka is Macedonia's largest lender, with assets in excess of 1.7 billion euro.

As at 11:00 CET on Wednesday, Komercijalna Banka shares traded 0.64% higher at 5,201.29 denars on the Macedonian Stock Exchange.

($ = 0.8621 euro)

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