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Insights February 2024

A year in review: A brief analysis of the Serbian banking sector in 2023

As of the close of 2022, Serbia's banking sector faced challenges amid global economic conditions. The year 2023 brought its distinct set of obstacles, with a noteworthy slowdown in global inflation compared to the last quarter of 2022. However, the undeniable focal point is the war in Ukraine, triggering a faster inflationary spiral due to increased energy and food prices. Key mergers and acquisitions In 2020, Komercijalna Banka, the largest state-owned Serbian bank, was acquired by Slovenian NLB Banka, leading to the merger of NLB Banka and Komercijalna Banka into NLB Komercijalna Banka. Vojvodjanska Banka was acquired by Hungarian OTP Bank, followed by OTP Bank's acquisition of Societe Generale Bank. In 2021

Deals December 2023

Kinstellar advises Nova Ljubljanska Banka, d.d. (NLB) on the acquisition of Summit Leasing Slovenia

Kinstellar has successfully advised Slovenia's largest banking group, Nova Ljubljanska Banka, d.d. Ljubljana ("NLB"), on the acquisition of 100% shareholding in SLS Holdco, the parent company of Summit Leasing, a leading provider of car financing in Slovenia, and its subsidiaries, from funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).    Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory and anti-trust approvals and is planned for the second half of 2024. The acquisition would make NLB the first and only financial institution in the region to cover all leasing markets of the former Yugoslavia. Summit Leasing has a vast network

Deals December 2023

Kinstellar advises AIK Banka on the acquisition of Eurobank Direktna in Serbia

Kinstellar has successfully advised AIK Banka on the competition law aspects of the EUR 280 million acquisition of 100% of Eurobank Direktna Beograd. The transaction closed in November upon receiving the necessary regulatory approvals, including competition clearances. AIK Banka is a prominent financial institution with a strong presence in the banking sector. Committed to excellence and strategic growth, AIK Banka's recent acquisition strengthens its position as a key player on the Serbian market.The acquisition of Eurobank Direktna represents a significant milestone, underscoring the consolidation trend within Serbia's banking sector and is one of the largest transactions of this kind in the sector. Kinstellar's

Insights October 2023

Uzbekistan introduces a new legal framework to govern competition within commodity and financial markets

On 3 July 2023, the President of Uzbekistan signed the Law No. ЗРУ- 850 “[o]n competition” (the “New Law”), which comes into force on 4 October 2023, replacing the law on competition No. ЗРУ-319 dated 6 January 2012 (the “Old Law”). The New Law (i) defines new criteria for identifying a dominant market position, (ii) introduces the concept of superior bargaining power, (iii) sets out antimonopoly compliance requirements for certain business entities, (iv) clarifies the requirements for obtaining preliminary consent for certain transactions, and (v) imposes financial sanctions for violations of the New Law. Antimonopoly Compliance The New Law introduces the concept of antimonopoly compliance

Insights June 2023

Currency restrictions in Ukraine: Changes to the rules for external debt financing

Following the outbreak of the full-scale Russian invasion, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) implemented temporary restrictions on cross-border foreign currency transactions. These restrictions were outlined in Resolution No. 18 of the NBU Board "On the Operation of the Banking System during the Period of Martial Law" (NBU Resolution No. 18). NBU Resolution No. 18 established an exclusive list of cross-border foreign currency transactions permitted during the martial law period. In late June 2023, the NBU took significant steps to expand the capacity of Ukrainian businesses to attract and service external loans and borrowings. This newsletter provides an overview of the provisions outlined in NBU Resolution No. 18 concerning

Insights June 2023

The end of uncertainty caused by an unfortunate court decision? The Slovak parliament confirms the approach in its assessment of close ties in the creditor-debtor relationship 

As part of a package of measures in the field of commercial law, the National Council of the Slovak Republic approved today, 28 June 2023, amendment to Act no. 7/2005 Coll. on Bankruptcy and Restructuring and on Amendments to Certain Acts, which confirms the long-standing treatment of the creditor-debtor relationship in Slovakia in cases of the potential relationship between the debtor and the creditor. Tomáš Melišek and Viliam Myšička, Partners in the Slovak office, have been dealing with the topic of kinship in bankruptcy law for several years and, in cooperation with the Slovak Banking Association and important Slovak banks, have discussed the wording of the relevant provisions of the respective law at several professional

Deals June 2023

Kinstellar assists OTP Bank with completing its first acquisition in Central Asia

As previously announced, in December 2022 Kinstellar advised OTP Bank, Hungary’s largest commercial bank and one of the largest independent financial service providers in Central and Eastern Europe, on the successful acquisition of Uzbekistan’s fifth-largest bank, Ipoteka Bank. Kinstellar has continued advising OTP Bank to reach another significant milestone in the transaction, as OTP Bank has completed the first closing of the transaction, i.e. the acquisition of a 73.71% stake in Ipoteka Bank from the state. With the transaction, OTP has become the first foreign lender to participate in the privatisation of Uzbekistan's banking sector. In the next step of the transaction, the remaining shares of Ipoteka Bank

Deals June 2023

Kinstellar assists Budapest Stock Exchange going public, listed in the BSE Standard category

On 21 June 2023, on the 33rd anniversary of its re-establishment, Budapest Stock Exchange Plc. (BSE) has entered the BSE Standard category. The listing significantly supports the ownership objectives of the National Bank of Hungary as the majority shareholder of BSE as well as the international ambitions of BSE, and is of exemplary importance, as the BSE aims to promote the benefits of going public among domestic medium-sized companies. The listing of BSE is in line with the strategy of developing the domestic capital market, providing the central player of the domestic capital market with a long-term sustainable operating environment that supports value creation, and supporting the efforts of the majority owner, the Hungarian

Insights May 2023

Uzbekistan introduces amendments to banks’ capitalisation requirements and liberalises access to their ownership by non-residents

On 19 April 2023, the President of Uzbekistan signed law No. ЗРУ-831, which came into force on 20 April 2023 and introduced changes to the law “[o]n banks and banking activities” (the “Amended Banking Law”).  Law on Banking The Amended Banking Law (i) increases the minimum charter capital requirement for banks and (ii) lifts certain restrictions on ownership of bank shares by non-residents of Uzbekistan. Increased charter capital requirements The Amended Banking Law increases the requirements for the minimum amount of charter capital of banks in Uzbekistan from UZS 100 billion to UZS 500 billion (from approximately USD 8,780,000 to USD 43,898,000 as of 1 May 2023) within the following timeline: 

News May 2023

Kinstellar announces new promotions to Partner and Counsel

Kinstellar is delighted and proud to announce the promotions to Partner of Tomáš Melišek (Bratislava), Levente Hegedűs (Budapest), Bulut Girgin (Istanbul), Anastasiya Bolkhovitinova, Natalia Kirichenko, Oleg Matiusha, Illya Muchnyk (all in our Kyiv office), and to Counsel of Dominika Bajzáthová (Bratislava). PARTNERS Tomá š Melišek, Bratislava Tomáš is the Head of the local Banking & Finance service line. He has 15 years of experience in banking and finance, focusing on project and acquisition financing as well as on financial regulations. Tomáš has substantial experience advising clients on significant financing transactions in the areas of real estate, energy, infrastructure, automotive, media

News April 2023

Kinstellar announces new promotions in Bucharest, Romania

Kinstellar is delighted to announce the promotion to Managing Associate of Mădălina Perțe (Corporate M&A), Andrei Covaliu (Dispute Resolution) and Răzvan Constantinescu (Banking and Finance), and to Senior Associate of Raluca Constantin (Dispute Resolution). These promotions come as a recognition of their contribution to our office’s recent development and their commitment to delivering exceptional value to our clients.   Mădălina Perțe specializes in Corporate / M&A matters where she has dealt with various assignments. She has also been involved in multiple due diligence exercises and  regularly advises companies on daily housekeeping matters. Mădălina’s expertise extends to capital

Deals March 2023

Kinstellar advises Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance and Stellantis on the acquisition of LeasePlan’s operations in the Czech Republic

Kinstellar, in collaboration with Linklaters, has successfully advised Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance and Stellantis on their acquisition of the Czech operations of LeasePlan from ALD Automotive. The deal follows ALD's announcement in January 2022 of its intention to acquire 100% of LeasePlan. Kinstellar successfully advised on the Czech aspects of the transaction. This strategic acquisition includes ALD's operations in Ireland, Norway, and Portugal, as well as LeasePlan's business activities in the Czech Republic, Finland, and Luxembourg. It marks a significant step forward in Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance and Stellantis' pursuit of growth in the mobility and long-term vehicle leasing sectors. The disposals align