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UniCredit creates Bulgaria's biggest bank

Italian banking group UniCredit officially announced the merge of its three Bulgarian subsidiaries, creating the country's largest bank.

Bulbank is the biggest of UniCredit's three banks in the country. The other two are HVB Bank Biochim and Hebros Bank, previously owned by German banking group HVB, acquired by UniCredit in 2005. The newly-created bank will be called UniCredit Bulbank and will be the country's largest with assets worth more than 7.5 billion lev ($5.2 billion), roughly a quarter of the total assets in Bulgaria's banking system. The banks are expected to complete the merge of their IT platforms by the end of June. „UniCredit Bulbank has a clear strategy - it is a universal Bulgarian bank, part of a European banking group, with ambitious plans for development in servicing individual clients, private clients, small and medium businesses, as well as large local and international companies,” said Bulbank CEO Levon Hampartzoumian, who will take charge of the newly-created bank. „Making clients happy is the main factor, which will drive UniCredit Bulbank forward,”  he added.

UniCredit Bulbank leapfrogged what was the country's biggest bank, DSK Bank EAD, run by Hungary's OTP Bank Rt, and United Bulgarian Bank, run by the National Bank of Greece SA. Loans lent by the bank exceed 4.5 billion lev, making it the country's biggest lender, while attracted deposits amount to 5.3 billion lev. (