January 4, 2017 / 12:39 PM / in 2 years

KBC interested in banking opportunities in Slovakia

SOFIA, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Belgian banking and insurance group KBC is interested in looking for acquisition opportunities in Slovakia, in line with its plan to expand in its core markets in central Europe, KBC Group Chief Executive Johan Thijs said on Wednesday.

KBC signed a 610 million euro ($636 mln) deal to acquire United Bulgarian Bank from National Bank of Greece last week and is on track to control the third largest lender in the Balkan country after it closes the transaction by June.

The deal was in line with KBC’s plans to be among the top three banks and the top four insurers in its core markets that include Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia by 2020.

“We do have our market leadership in several countries, but with a position of number four in Slovakia, we would be loving to look into acquisitions if possible in that country,” Thijs told reporters. “And definitely on the insurance side we have there some potential to grow our business as well.”

He said KBC has no ambition to expand beyond its current core markets. (Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Adrian Croft)

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