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OTP to invest €30 mln to expand Romanian business

OTP Bank Nyrt, Hungary's largest financial company, is investing €30 million to expand its business in Romania, a country with more than twice the population of its domestic market. The bank on June 23 already invested €20 million in the unit to upgrade its computer network and to increase the number of its branch offices in the Balkan country of 22 million people. The Budapest-based bank disclosed the latest investment in a statement to the stock exchange yesterday. OTP, Hungary's former banking monopoly, has spent $2.4 billion to expand in eastern Europe in the past five years to mitigate a slowdown in revenue growth at home because of competition from the likes of Austria's Erste Bank AG. OTP bought the Romanian unit, then named Robank SA, for $47.5 million from the UK's Balli Group in 2004. OTP also bought insurer Ceccar Romas SA in November and is bidding for Casa de Economii si Consemnatiuni SA, Romania's largest savings bank. (Bloomberg)