Kazakhstan's ATF Bank was acquired by Unicredit on Thursday, which could be a sign of stabilization for the Asian bank plus an opportunity to expand into Asia for the Italian firm.
At a cost of $2.1 billion, Unicredit's investment may help ATF to cement its name in the banking sector.
"We want to be number one - why not?", Alexander Picker, ATF's chief executive, told the Financial Times.
He added that Unicredit would benefit from the acquisition, with ATF providing a hub for the Italians to further penetrate central Asia.
Kazakhstan's fifth-biggest bank is currently worth $8 billion and Unicredit is the leading foreign bank in eastern Europe.
It seems that Unicredit has pre-empted a move which is seen to be lucrative, as HSBC, ING, Paribas, and Societe Generale all expressed interest in acquiring ATF.