The share of Bulgarian-owned banks has risen for the last five years. While in 2008 the local subsidiaries of the large European banks held nearly 80% of the assets, now their share has fallen to 65%, Capital Dailyl’s calculations show.
At the same time the share of the so-called local banks (with Bulgarian shareholders) has increased from 16.09% in 2008 to 27.28% in mid-2013. The difference to 100% is held by non-EU banks and bank branches. If the recently announced acquisition of MKB Unionbank by First Investment Bank (Fibank) is included, nearly a third of the banking sector in Bulgaria will be held by Bulgarian shareholders.
Besides organic growth, which is the reason for the asset increase of Corporate Commercial Bank (KTB), Fibank and Central Cooperative Bank (CCB), the surge in local ownership is also due to active acquisitions in the sector.
Two Bulgarian banks are now among the top 5 in the sector. At the end of June Fibank was third in assets (6.970 billion leva, about 3.5 billion euro) and KTB was fifth (6.274 billion leva). CCB is also in the group of the ten systemically important financial institutions, ranking ninth in assets (3.385 billion leva). In 2008, Fibank, KTB and CCB were respectively sixth, ninth and 11th in the ranking.
Four years and a half ago the Greek banks in top 10 held nearly a quarter (24.9%) of the assets in the sector, while now the three biggest Bulgarian financial institutions hold nearly a fifth (19.99%). Their share will increase further after the deal on MKB Unionbank is finalized.
The other local-owned banks are much smaller and include Investbank, Bulgarian-American Credit Bank, International Asset Bank and Teximbank (which is part of CCB’s Chimimport Group).
Read more in Bulgarian here.