National Bank of Greece sells Bulgarian subsidiaries

2 January 2017
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National Bank of Greece agreed to sell a 99.1 percent stake in its Bulgarian unit United Bulgarian Bank (UBB) and its fully owned leasing subsidiary Interlease EAD to Belgian bank KBC Group, National Bank said on Friday.

National Bank will receive 610 million euros, it said, while UBB plans to make a 50-million-euro dividend distribution to the Greek lender ahead of the transaction and after approval by its annual general assembly.

The sale of UBB is part of National Bank’s restructuring plan agreed with the European authorities to boost its capital.

“The transaction further strengthens NBG’s position in terms of capital and liquidity, allowing for the redeployment of resources to support the Greek economic recovery,” National Bank chief executive officer Leonidas Fragkiadakis said in a statement.

NBG has had a presence in Bulgaria for 15 years.

UBB is Bulgaria’s fourth-largest bank in terms of assets.

Interlease is the third-largest leasing firm in the country, KBC Group said in a statement.

KBC said it will use internal sources and available funds to pay the price in cash.

The deal is expected to be concluded in the second quarter of 2017 at the latest.

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