Bulgarian Cartel Watchdog OKs UBB-Postbank Merger
Bulgaria's Commission for Protection of Competition has issued a permit to United Bulgarian Bank, UBB, to acquire Postbank.
The decision of the anti-monopoly body comes in the aftermath of the Greek one to merge the owners of the two banks – the National Bank of Greece (NBG) and Eurobank.
The permit is issued to NBG, but in Bulgaria, similarly to Romania, Serbia and Cyprus, the merger will be between the two subsidiaries - UBB (NBG) and Postbank (Eurobank).
The Commission in Bulgaria deems that the planned concentration would not lead to a monopoly position.
It has taken into consideration the opinions of the Central Bank – BNB, the Financial Supervision Commission, the Association of Banks in Bulgaria, the Bulgarian Leasing Association, and UBB competitors such as Unicredit Bulbank, DSK Bank, Reiffeisen Bank, First Investment Bank, Societe Generale Expressbank, Corporate Commercial Bank, Pireus Bank, MKB Union Bank, Allianz Bank, Central Cooperative Bank, and UBB and Post Bank main customers
According to data of the Bulgarian watchdog, by the end of September, the two banks had under 25% market share in all segments.
After the merger, they will become the second largest bank in Bulgaria by assets, with a 15.3% market share. This share in retail banking – mortgage and consumer loans - will be 23.2%, according to Capital daily.
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