OTP Bank plans to boost Ukrainian branches to 200 in 2 years

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OTP, based in Budapest, plans to open 160 new branches of the bank it renamed CJSC OTP Bank, the Hungarian lender said in a stock exchange statement today.

OTP Bank Nyrt, the Hungarian lender that's spent $2.4 billion buying banks in eastern Europe, will boost its number of Ukrainian branches fivefold in two years and consolidate profit from a new unit in the Q4. OTP, based in Budapest, plans to open 160 new branches of the bank it renamed CJSC OTP Bank, the Hungarian lender said in a stock exchange statement today after transferring the €650 million ($833 million) purchase price to Raiffeisen International Bank AG yesterday.

OTP agreed to buy the Ukrainian bank June 1. Raiffeisen, the Austrian lender with more than 2,700 branches in eastern Europe and Russia, expects a €470 million one-time gain after closing the sale, it said in a statement today. The lender will include the profit in its Q4 income statement, the Vienna-based bank said. The purchase of Ukraine's seventh-largest lender is OTP's biggest ever.

Ukraine, a former Soviet state of 50 million people, is OTP's sixth foreign market. CEO Sándor Csányi already bought banks in Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia and Slovakia. OTP said November 14 Q3 profit advanced to a record as economic growth in the region stoked demand for financial services. Net income rose 31% to Ft 53.6 billion (€207.9 million) from Ft 41 billion a year earlier. (Bloomberg)

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