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HVB Bank Hungary to be rebranded Unicredit Bank

HVB Bank Hungary will rename itself Unicredit Bank from February, as part of a regional branding resulting from the takeover of German and Austrian banking group HVB/BA-CA by Italy's Unicredit one and a half years ago, HVB Bank Hungary CEO Mihály Patai said at a press conference in Budapest on Tuesday.

Patai said the bank currently has 75 branches, which will be rebranded by mid-February. The bank will open a further 10 branches by the middle of 2007, he added. Patai declined to reveal any business figures from 2006, citing the policy of HVB Bank Hungary's parent, but he noted the bank had met all of its targets. Patai revealed that Unicredit is dissatisfied with HVB Bank's seventh-place spot on Hungary's market in terms of total assets and, for this reason, is expected to bid in the privatization of FHB Bank. The State Privatization and Holding Company (APV) is expected to sell the state's 54.11% stake in the bank some time this year. Shareholders with a stake in excess of 5% in the bank include Allianz Hungária, which acquired 8.0% of FHB this year, and Silvermist Estate, holding 7.6% of shares. (Mti-Eco, Bloomberg)