Following KCB’s acquisition of United Bulgarian Bank (UBB), the bank’s credit rating has improved by six rates according to Fitch Ratings and four rates according to Standard and Poor’s (S&P).
“Bulgaria is a very important market for KBC and we expect the group to be strongly committed to UBB given its intention to grow significantly in the Bulgarian banking sector,” wrote S&P Global in a release: “Importantly, we believe the ambitions of the KBC group in Bulgaria should gradually strengthen the competitive position of its local operations, with higher growth and higher profitability over time.”
S&P improved UBB’s credit rating from B to BB+, while Fitch Ratings improved it from B+ to BBB+, and both agencies gave the bank a positive outlook. The ratings increases primarily reflect the KCB acquisition, but also an improvement in the Bulgarian sovereign rating.
“In line with KBC Group’s long-term strategy, UBB, together with CIBANK, will become a top three bank in the Bulgarian market. The ratings upgrade is yet another proof that the acquisition of UBB and the uniting of UBB and CIBANK will be beneficial for both – for the local economy and for the clients. Having in the Group also DZI, one of the major insurance companies in the market, we will expand our bancassurance activities, becoming the largest financial group in Bulgaria.”