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Bulgarian competition watchdog approves DSK Bank's takeover of local SocGen unit

Bulgaria's Commission on Protection of Competition approved OTP Bank Nyrt. unit DSK Bank's acquisition of Societe Generale Expressbank AD and other local units of Société Générale SA, SEENews reported Dec. 18.

The competition regulator came to a conclusion that the transaction will "consolidate DSK Bank's leading position on the local retail banking market, rather than strengthen it," and said the new banking group's market share in the various market segments will be below the 40% threshold it considers to be problematic, the news report noted.

Under the August deal to purchase SocGen Expressbank, DSK Bank will also acquire indirect control over Societe Generale Factoring, Sogelease Bulgaria and Regional Urban Development Fund, as well as direct control over insurer Sogelife Bulgaria AD

The Bulgarian central bank approved the transaction in November. DSK Bank also secured the approval of Bulgaria's Financial Supervision Commission in December to acquire a 100% holding in insurer Sogelife Bulgaria, SEENews noted.