National Bank of Greece Acquires 89.9% of United Bulgarian Bank
On July 20, 2000, National Bank of Greece (NBG) has finalized the deal for the acquisition of a 89.9% share in United Bulgarian Bank (UBB). The sellers involved in the transaction were: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), BULBANK, CIBC OPPENHEIMER CORP and JODRELL ENTERPRISES LIMITED. EBRD will retain for a period of two years a 10% stake in UBB.
NBG is by far the largest commercial bank in Greece, having consolidated assets of over 45 bln USD. The Bank has a well-developed network of more than 610 branches and 1000 ATMs in Greece and directly or through subsidiaries - more than 200 branches abroad. NBG has a presence in 18 countries, including both developed markets such as USA, UK, Canada, France, Australia, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as in emerging markets like Bulgaria, Romania, Albania and Egypt. In April 2000, in joint deal with EBRD and IFC, NBG acquired a majority share in STOPANSKA BANKA, Skopje.
NBG's intentions are to preserve the current size of UBB's network and to keep the present number of personnel. The activities of UBB will further be internationalised through the integration of the bank in the International network of NBG. The ongoing intensive lending activities to the economy will continue, which is expected to lead to an increase of the loan portfolio of the bank both as absolute value and in terms of share in total assets. The bank will increase its support to small and medium-size enterprises in Bulgaria throughout opening of additional credit lines for financing of investment projects. UBB will continue the expansion of its ATM and POS terminal network. The range of the bank's retail activities will further be diversified with a particular emphasis on the retail lending. The modernization of the bank will continue with implementation of IT solutions for Internet and mobile phone payments.