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KBC to sell its Russian subsidiary Absolut Bank
Russian Federation | December 2012

The Belgian banking and insurance group KBC has agreed to sell its Russian banking subsidiary Absolut Bank to a group of Russian investors for 300 million euros. The deal is due to be closed in the second quarter of 2013 once it has been approved by the regulatory authorities. This sale, which is expected to have a positive impact of around 100 million euros on KBC’s consolidated results in 2013 but not on the capital, should improve KBC’s tier-1 capital ratio by around 0.4 percentage points. KBC had decided to refocus on retail banking in Belgium and Central and Eastern Europe.

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Orange Poland and mBank to launch a mobile bank

Poland - March 2014

In Poland, the telecom operator Orange Poland is poised to launch a bank designed specifically for smartphone and tablet users. Orange Poland’s mobile bank, which is due to be launched in the second half of 2014, will offer retail customers and SMEs the following banking services: mobile payments, current accounts, loans, deposits and credit and debit cards. These services will be provided by mBank.

News summary compiled by Efma Information Services


Banking density and bank account penetration rate in the Maghreb countries

Africa - March 2014

According to, Jordan is the Maghreb country with the highest banking density with one branch per 5,000 inhabitants, followed by Morocco (1 branch per 6,000 inhabitants), Tunisia (1 branch per 7,400 inhabitants), Egypt (1 branch per 22,000 inhabitants) and Algeria (1 branch per 25,000 inhabitants). For the bank account penetration rate, Morocco tops the list with a rate of 57%, followed by Tunisia (42 %), Jordan (35 %), Algeria (30 %) and Egypt (28 %).

News summary compiled by Efma Information Services

Strategy & Functions

China UnionPay has its sights set on the US market

USA - May 2013

China UnionPay, the leading Chinese bank card payment network, is to issue prepaid cards in the United States via a partnership with the US bank Bancorp, the country’s leading prepaid card issuer. Holders will be able to use this card, which will be distributed in Bancorp branches, in China and the United States, as well as in all countries where UnionPay cards are accepted. The card is aimed above all at members of the Chinese community living in the United States, but UnionPay is also targeting US businessmen and women, tourists and students traveling to China. UnionPay wants to establish itself as a serious rival to Visa and MasterCard in the United States.

News summary compiled by Efma Information Services

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