October 11, 2016 / 6:36 PM / a year ago

Armenia's Ardshinbank acquires Russian Gazprombank's local unit

YEREVAN (Reuters) - One of the biggest banks in Armenia, Ardshinbank, has bought Areximbank, Russian Gazprombank’s local unit, in a move to become the largest lender in the ex-Soviet country.

Ardshinbank bought Areximbank through a Russia-based financial and industrial corporation called Region, whose sole shareholder is the ultimate beneficiary and chairman of the board of Ardshinbank Karen Safaryan.

The next stage of the deal is a merger of the two banks, they said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

“As a result of the acquisition Ardshinbank will become the largest bank in Armenia, including, by capital, assets and branch network.”

Fitch affirmed CJSC Ardshinbank’s Long-term IDR at ‘B+’ with negative outlook in May 2016. The bank in July last year placed $100 million in bonds with a 12 percent coupon, maturing in 2020, on the Irish Stock Exchange.

The financial and industrial corporation Region was founded in 2006.

Reporting by Hasmik Mkrtchyan; writing by Margarita Antidze; editing by Ralph Boulton

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