Business news from Ukraine

MERGER OF ALFA-BANK AND UKRSOTSBANK EXPECTED IN AUTUMN 2019

The transfer of Ukrsotsbank’s business to Alfa-Bank (both based in Kyiv) has completed in fact: Ukrsotsbank has around 6% of clients of the number of clients as of early 2017 left on its balance sheet, and the legal merger is expected this autumn, General Manager of the board of the Alfa-Bank banking group, Board Chairman of Ukrsotsbank Ivan Svitek has said. “The merger has actually ended, as all the time we focused not on a legal merger, but on transferring the active business of Ukrsotsbank to the platform of Alfa-Bank Ukraine,” he said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
He said that only 11,000 of these 6% of clients are active.
Svitek recalled that in 2018, 80% of customers and 90% of balances were transferred from Ukrsotsbank, and the more complex issue of a unified IT system was completed a few weeks ago.
“At Ukrsotsbank, we have migrated more than 8 million accounts to Alfa – both opened and closed, and closed almost 90% of all IT systems and servers, including disconnection of all mobile applications and Internet banking from the system. We have already closed all branches of Ukrsotsbank and almost all of its employees were transferred to Alfa Bank. Only cash collection and one branch of Ukrsotsbank remained,” the head of the banking group said, describing the current situation.
He said that the migration of up to 90% of clients is a very high figure for the merger of banks.
“For us in this process, quality was more important than quantity. Therefore, we are pleased with the result,” Svitek said.
According to him, the largest portfolio that remained on the Ukrsotsbank’s platforme is a portfolio of bad loans, but debtors of the bank should not hope for relief after joining Alfa-Bank.
“Therefore, the legal merger de facto will not affect either the clients or the creditors of Ukrsotsbank,” Svitek said.
He said that the issue of the legal merger is still open and will be discussed at a meeting of the supervisory board in the coming weeks. The head of the group predicted that legally the merger will occur this autumn.
Asked about the brand of the merged bank, Svitek said that there is still no final decision on this matter. He said that new Strategic Marketing Director Natalia Palina, who earlier worked for Jacobs Douwe Egberts and has extensive experience in FMCG, recently joined the team. Until the end of September, she is conducting another in-depth study, the results of which will again weigh all the pros and cons of the decision to change the brand,” the head of the banking group said.
“…it would be very easy to make a decision if Alfa-Bank’s brand lost its value and strength, but this is definitely not the case. Now, only the coming legal merger is actually pushing us to rebranding. Therefore, we are weighing this step again and again,” Svitek said.
He said that rebranding is a very serious procedure and a major stress for the company, so the task is to make the right decision.

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TASСOMBANK RAISES CHARTER CAPITAL BY 57.3% DUE TO MERGER OF VS BANK

TAScombank (Kyiv) has increased its charter capital by UAH 420 million, or 57.3%, to UAH 1.153 billion due to the merger of VS Bank (Lviv), TAScombank said in the information disclosure system of the National Securities and Stock Market Commission.
According to the report, Alkemi Limited reduced its share in the charter capital of TAScombank to 63.5% from 99.9%. At the same time, Bailican Limited became the owner of 36.4% of the shares. These companies are owned by Sergiy Tigipko, who indirectly owns 99.93065% of TAScombank.
As reported, in mid-October-2018 TAScombank and VS Bank completed the merger process.
At the beginning of November 2017, the National Bank of Ukraine allowed Tigipko to indirectly purchase a 99.9% stake in VS Bank. The direct buyer was the Cypriot company Bailican Limited. The deal was closed in early December 2017.

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MERGER OF ALFA-BANK UKRAINE, UKRSOTSBANK TO BE COMPLETED IN H1 2019

The legal merger of Alfa-Bank Ukraine and Ukrsotsbank (Kyiv) will be completed in H1 2019, Alfa Group CEO in Ukraine and Board Chairman of Ukrsotsbank Ivan Svitek has said.
“The legal merger is scheduled for the first half of the next year, but before the merger of the two giants as Alfa and Ukrsotsbank, and there have not yet been such mergers in the Ukrainian market, we need to do a lot of preparatory work. We are now trying to transfer all active clients of Ukrsotsbank to the Alfa platform. Our goal, to which we are systematically moving, is the transfer of 75% of all active clients, including in business volumes, to Alfa Bank’s balance sheet by the end of 2018,” Svitek said in a joint interview with Board Chairperson of Alfa Bank Ukraine Victoria Mykhailo with Interfax-Ukraine.
According to Mykhailo, during the preparation for migration, a soft format “2 in 1” was developed, when branches of two banks – Ukrsotsbank and Alfa-Bank are located on the Ukrsotsbank platform.
“Using this format, we can immediately tell Ukrsotsbank’ clients, while they use the usual service in the convenient branch, about all the benefits of switching to Alfa-Bank. The main argument, of course, is Alfa’s technological effectiveness. We took a lot of cool ideas and projects of Ukrsotsbank, including, for example, the Carbon card loved by customers, so clients in the 2-in-1 offices in a convenient format transfer liabilities from Ukrsotsbank to Alfa with a bonus and get more premium cards and products,” she said.
Mykhailo added that often for a client nothing changes in the current work with the bank: it is served by the same managers as before, but now employed in Alfa Bank.
Commenting on the optimization of the regional network, Mykhailo said that currently two banks are entering the final wave of migration, in which from 301 branches of Alfa-Bank and Ukrsotsbank as of the beginning of this year only 241 branches of Alfa-Bank and 8 hubs in different regions, which will work in the “2 in 1” format will remain by the end of the year.

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NBU APPROVES VS BANK AND TASCOMBANK MERGER

The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has approved VS Bank (Lviv) merger with TAScombank (Kyiv) under a simplified procedure, VS Bank reported on its website.
“On July 11, 2018, VS Bank received the NBU’s permission for reorganization via the merger of VS Bank with TAScombank under the simplified procedure,” reads the report.
The merger will be conducted in line with the reorganization plan approved at the general meeting of shareholders of each bank and a merger agreement. TAScombank will become the legal successor of VS Bank’s rights and obligations.
TAS Group was founded in 1998. It has assets in the financial and industrial sectors, agriculture, real estate, pharmaceuticals, and venture projects. The financial sector of the group includes TAScombank, Universal Bank, VS Bank, two insurance companies and several other organizations. The founder and the main shareholder of the group is Sergiy Tigipko.
According to the NBU, as of January 1, 2018 the major owner of TAScombank was Sergiy Tigipko, who owned 99.86851% of securities.
Sberbank sold VS Bank as part of the implementation of its strategy to leave the Ukrainian banking market.

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AB INBEV AND EFES FINALIZE MERGER IN UKRAINE AND RUSSIA

The world’s largest brewing group, Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) and leading Turkish brewer Anadolu Efes have completed the 50-50 merger of their businesses in Russia and Ukraine, AB InBev said in a press release.
The board of directors of the merged AB InBev Efes will consist of an equal number of representatives from both companies. The chairman of the will be Tuncay Ozilhan, chairman of Anadolu Group and Anadolu Efes.
The management team will work under the leadership of Dmitry Shpakov, president of AB InBev in Russia and Ukraine, who will become president of AB InBev Efes. Roy Cornish, the head of Moscow Efes Brewery, will become chief financial officer.
The merged company will have a production network of 11 breweries and three malthouses in Russia, as well as three breweries in Ukraine.
The AB InBev Efes brand portfolio will include both international and local brands: Spaten, Corona Extra, BUD, Velkopopovicky Kozel, Miller Genuine Draft, Hoegaarden, Stary Melnik iz Bochonka, Klinskoye and Bely Medved.
The companies are confident that the combination of their businesses and expertise, diversified brand portfolio and the wide selection of beer that they offer consumers will enable the merged company to ensure growth and take leading positions on the Russian and Ukrainian markets, Shpakov was cited as saying in the press release.
The results of the merged company will be consolidated in the financial statement of Anadolu Efes. AB InBev will not include the results in its global reporting, but will take into account earned profit as a return on investment in the joint venture in line with the size of its equity interest.

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