SOFIA, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Belgian bank KBC and Hungarian lender OTP Bank have made offers to acquire United Bulgarian Bank (UBB), the Bulgarian subsidiary of National Bank of Greece (NBG), according to banking industry sources.
NBG is seeking to sell UBB, Bulgaria’s fourth largest lender, as part of its restructuring plan agreed with banking regulators to boost its capital position. It is also seeking to sell off its National Insurance arm.
“The data room is now closed. There are two offers, one by KBC and one by OTP,” one of the sources said.
“A sale to one of the two bidders is likely to be agreed by the end of the year,” a second source said.
UBB had a book value of 1.32 billion levs ($724 million) at the end of September, central bank data showed. Its total assets stood at 7.1 billion levs.
However, earlier this month UBB, which is 99.9 percent owned by NBG, voted to distribute some 260 million levs in dividends.
The bank’s core capital adequacy ratio will stand at 20 percent of assets after the dividend payment from 29 percent before and will achieve a better level of managed capital, UBB’s chief executive, Stilian Vatev, has said.
OTP, which controls DSK Bank, the Balkan country’s second biggest bank, declined to comment.
OTP chief executive Sandor Csanyi said last month the bank was looking at acquisition opportunities and would wrap up at least one deal within the next three months.
A KBC spokeswoman said the Belgian group was looking for opportunities in its core markets and Bulgaria was such a market, but declined to comment on whether it had made a bid for UBB. ($1=1.8232 leva) (Additional reporting by George Georgiopoulos in Athens, Marton Dunai in Budapest and Robert-Jan Bartunek in Brussels; Editing by Greg Mahlich)