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Wed 28 Jan 2009 12:01 AM

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Bulgarians sell stake to Omani fund

Corpbank has confirmed it has sold a 30 percent stake to an Omani fund for an undisclosed sum.

The majority owner of Bulgaria's small Corporate Commercial Bank has reached a deal to sell a 30 percent stake to an Omani fund for an undisclosed sum, the bank said in a statement.

Corpbank, Bulgaria's tenth-largest bank in terms of assets, said majority owner Bromac has signed a preliminary accord to sell 1.8 million shares or 30 percent of its capital to Luxemburg-registered Bulgarian Acquisition Company II (BAC II).

The bank said BAC II was controlled by the Oman State General Reserve Fund, which is one of the key investment institutions of the government of the Sultan of Oman.

"The planned deal will allow the bank to become a leader in the corporate lending market in Bulgaria and offer a broad range of products to its clients," the bank said in a filing with the Bulgarian Stock Exchange.

Corpbank's net profit rose 74 percent to 40.3 million levs ($27.21 million) in 2008. Its total assets stood at 2.1 billion levs, the bank's data showed.

Commercial banks have significantly curtailed lending in the Balkan country since October, following the tighter global liquidity and global economic downturn that analysts may lead to a hard landing for Bulgaria. (Reuters)

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