PRIME-TASS. Shareholders of Perm-based Kamabank decided at a March 1 EGM on the bank’s reorganization through the merger with Orient Express Bank, headquartered in Blagoveshchensk, Prime-TASS reported with reference to Kamabank.

The merged lender will continue business under the brand of Orient Express Bank. The lending institution’s equity will top Rub 8 bln and aggregate assets will total Rub 50 bln.

“The banks’ merger goes in line with the present policy pursued by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation to stabilize and strengthen the national banking system and the merger constitutes part of the strategy sustainably carried out by the banks’ shareholders to establish a large federal universal private bank," Kamabank said in a press release.

The plan is to open branches of Orient Express Bank in Perm and the Perm region as early as the second half of 2010. Perm region customers will have an opportunity to be served in more than 360 sales outlets of Orient Express Bank in 150 Russian cities, including Moscow and Saint Petersburg. The Perm-based lender’s technologies and inventions in relation to plastic card projects will be further expanded within operations of the merged bank and in other regions. Kamabank’s mortgage lending center will be reorganized into Orient Express Bank’s central mortgage lending division in Russia.

As Prime-TASS wired earlier, in June 2009 Orient Express Bank wrapped up a reorganization program, taking over Etalonbank (Moscow), and in October the lender gobbled up Bank Dvizhenie (Tomsk). In October 2009 Orient Express Bank finalized the purchase of a 79.94% stake in Kamabank.

The banks have not yet released their 2009 financials.