Bulgaria competition watchdog approves sale of Victoria Bank

Bulgaria’s Commission for Protection of Competition has approved the sale of Victoria Bank, the subsidiary of bankrupt Corporate Commercial Bank (CCB), to Investbank. The decision, made on June 28, was published on July 5.

The financial details of the deal were not disclosed when it was announced in April. Under the proposed deal, Investbank would purchase 100 per cent of Victoria Bank’s shares and repay the deposit held by CCB, which reports in Bulgarian media put at 85 million leva.

Bulgaria’s central bank already gave its preliminary approval to two shortlisted candidate buyers, Investbank and the Bulgarian-American Credit Bank, in March.

The proposed deal would not have a major impact on Bulgaria’s banking sector, as the merged group would have 2.1 per cent of the total assets in the banking sector, the competition regulator said.

Victoria Bank was the last major acquisition made by CCB before it asked to be put under the central bank’s supervision following a run on deposits in June 2014. The deal for the lender, which was previously Credit Agricole’s subsidiary in Bulgaria, only closed a month earlier.

Victoria Bank was also put under central bank supervision, but its assets, unlike those of its parent bank, were found to be sound. Nevertheless, several previous attempts to sell the bank were unsuccessful.



The Sofia Globe staff

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