Telenor Serbia said it completed this month the acquisition of local lender KBC Banka, which was previously part of Belgium's KBC Group . This clears the way for the official opening of Telenor Banka in 2014, the telecommunications firm said on its website. The acquisition follows an April agreement, under which Telenor Serbia acquired 100% of KBC Banka, while the Serb arm of Societe Generale took over KBS Banka's portfolio of assets and deposits. " Telenor believes that mobile financial services will bring new attractive banking solutions to citizens of Serbia and wants to build the retail bank with clear focus on transactions," the company said in a statement. Its CEO Ove Fredheim said Telenor's ambition is to become the number one online and mobile consumer bank in Serbia . "We will offer state of the art, innovative and easy to use banking services to the benefit of Serbian citizens," he said in the statement. Telenor Banka's managing director-to-be Martin Navratil said the bank will initially have around 100 employees who will support development of new products and services. The new bank will offer easily accessible, predictable, 24/7 available banking products and services, delivering an innovative customer experience. Navratil will leave its position of head of financial services at Telenor Serbia to take the new post. Telenor Serbia is part of Norway's Telenor Group , which serves more than 160 million subscribers in 12 markets in the Nordics ( Norway , Sweden , and Denmark ), Central and Eastern Europe ( Hungary , Serbia , Montenegro and Bulgaria ), Asia ( Thailand , Malaysia , Bangladesh , Pakistan and India ). Telenor entered Serbia in 2006, acquiring Mobi63 for EUR 1.53bn . Telenor Serbia now has 3.2 million customers, 1,150 employees and 120 stores in 85 cities. Its Smart Network covers 80% of the population. The company acquired a fixed telephony licence in 2010, aiming to become a convergent provider in Serbia.
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