10. FRENCH BANK BNP PARIBAS SA TO BUY A 51% STAKE IN UKRAINE’S FIFTH-LARGEST BANK, UKRSIBBANK

Adriana Brasileiro, Dow Jones Newswires,
Paris, France, Tu, Dec 20, 2005

PARIS — BNP Paribas SA (13110.FR) Tuesday said it has agreed to buy a 51% stake in UkrSibbank, Ukraine’s fifth-largest bank, with assets of $1.4 billion as of June 30.

In a statement, BNP said it has clinched a deal with UkrSibbank’s two largest shareholders who together will keep a 49% stake in the bank.

BNP didn’t provide financial details of the deal. BNP is buying the stake from two businessmen. The bank said the acquisition is “immediately earnings-accretive.” It said it expects the closing of the offer to take place by the end of the first half of 2006.

Kiev-based UkrSibbank had assets of $1.4 billion at the end of the first half of 2005, and it employs 10,000 people, BNP said. UkrSibbank is expected to this year post a net profit of $13 million, compared with $15 million in 2004, BNP said.

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