Italian banking group UniCredit has completed the sale of a 99.9% stake in Ukraine’s Ukrsotsbank to ABH Holdings (ABHH).

Under the deal, UniCredit gets a minority 9.9% stake in ABHH, an investment holding company of Alfa Group.

Alfa Group chairman of the supervisory board Mikha?l Fridman said: “We welcome our new partner UniCredit Group as a shareholder of our banking group. This partnership will allow us to step up in the development of ABHH group in all the countries in which the group operates, combining our expertise, years of experience and strengths of our teams.”

At the same time, UniCredit head of strategy, business development and M&A Andrea Maffezzoni will now join ABHH’s board of directors.

The unified platform of the two banks will lead to the emergence of a stronger company, Fridman said.

“We are going to compete for the leadership in the Ukrainian market, first and utmost, by upgrading the level of technology, increasing efficiency, improving quality of service for the clients, as well as reducing the cost of services and expanding their range,” Fridman added.