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4 October, 2013 16:33   ▪  

Another foreign bank to leave Ukraine

Italian UniCredit Group starts searching for a buyer of UkrSotsBank it acquired six years ago for USD 2bn

“We are testing the market of our Ukrainian assets,” UniCredit Group CEO Federico Ghizzoni said after announcing that the group is considering options to sell its Ukrainian banks. “We’ll see whether we can find partners. It is not easy to leave countries like this one. We spent two years to sell our assets in Kazakhstan.” 

UniCredit Group owns UkrSotsBank and UniCredit banks in Ukraine. Their merger should be completed by the end of this year. On March 15, it sold its Kazakh ATF Bank to the company KazNitrogenGaz at an undisclosed price, Kommersant Ukraine reports.

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UniCredit Group’s headquarters in Milan claimed yesterday that the final decision to sell the bank is not made yet.

“Sometimes, we make detailed evaluation of the market situation in every country to improve our strategy. Currently, the two Ukrainian banks that are part of the group are in the process of merger. So, it makes sense that the market is now being analyzed as profoundly as never before. It is important to understand how the merged bank will develop and which niche it will take,” UkrSotsBank’s press-service comments.

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Once merged with UniCredit Bank, UkrSotsBank which is now the sixth largest bank in Ukraine in terms of assets (UAH 38.3bn), will increase its assets to UAH 43.5bn. However, this will now push it even one position up. 

UniCredit’s decision to leave Ukraine is just an intent: if it fails to find a buyer, the group will remain in Ukraine.  Experts expect the group to most likely sell its assets in Ukraine.

READ ALSO: Foreign Banks Flee Ukraine

According to earlier reports, UkrSotsBank’s central office in Kyiv was searched on September 20. Later, the Interior Ministry’s press services reported that the search of UkrSotsBank’s office was part of the investigation of the criminal case about appropriation of assets of the bank’s borrower worth tens of millions of hryvnia.

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