Oberbank to expand in Hungary

MNB

Austrian bank Oberbank, which currently has 7 branches in Hungary, will open 7 to 10 new units in the country by 2016, Oberbank’s CEO Franz Gasselsberger announced yesterday at a press conference in Vienna. The bank is planning to open 12 new units in the long run.

Because of several factors, including a high banking tax, a costly FX loans relief scheme and the political climate, Hungary is seen as a "problematic territory" by big Western banks but not by Oberbank, said its CEO. "We are not perceived to be such a threat, perhaps because of our size", Gasselsberger said to Austrian news agency APA.

Oberbank’s expansion plans were boosted by the fact that big foreign banks such as Erste Bank and CIB have closed down some of their branches. But Oberbank is only planning organic growth. "We are not buying anything from other banks, and we are not buying other banks", Gasselsberger stated.

Oberbank is number eight in Austria's banking market. Its total assets reached €17.5 bln at the end of June. Oberbank is increasing its presence in Central Europe and also opening new branches in the Czech Republic, in Austrian and Germany. The Austrian bank scooped up a net profit of €73.6 mln in the first half of this year, 10.8% up from €66.4 mln a year ago. Its loan portfolio grew by 3.6%.

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