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EIB and UBB Merge into Bulgaria’s Third Largest Bank

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EIB and UBB Merge into Bulgaria’s Third Largest Bank

The Economic Investment Bank (EIB) and the United Bulgarian Bank (UBB) are going to merge into what is thought to become Bulgaria's third largest Bank, after Unicredit Bulbank and the State Savings Bank (DSK).

The merger follows a December 30th agreement between Belgium's KBC Group and Greece's national bank NBG (UBB's mother company) on the acquisition of UBB and Interlease by KBC for a total of EUR 610 M.

Through its daughter company, EIB, KBC has been on the Bulgarian market since 2007. EIB CEO and KBC's country manager for Bulgaria, Petar Andronov, said the new bank will most probably have a Bulgarian name.

The Belgian group is also the majority owner of DZI Bank in Bulgaria.

"After the acquisition of UBB, the group will be holding three powerful Bulgarian brands and we will have to choose our flagship brand in the region," said Luc Gijsens, CEO of the International Markets Business Unit of KBC Group.

"The asset that we are acquiring is very important to us, as it will enable us to develop the banking-insurance model. Our ambition is to see the new company among the top three Bulgarian banks and the top four insurers in the country," said Johan Thijs, CEO of KBC.

He named Petar Andronov as the head of the new bank's leadership.

The merger of UBB and EIB is expected to take at least a year to complete.

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