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OTP to raise capital of Romanian subsidiary by €30 mln

A September 22 general meeting of OTP Bank's Romanian subsidiary OTP Bank Romania (OBR) decided to raise the bank’s registered capital by € 30 mln to nearly € 50 mln, OTP announced on the website of the Budapest Stock Exchange (BÉT). The capital injection will provide a stable base for OBR to begin its network expansion from October and an expansion in the retail market on the base of a new IT system, OTP said. ORB had net assets worth Ft 7.67bln (€ 31mln) and total assets of Ft 48.76 bln at the end of June 2005, according to OTP's first-half report. ORB recorded losses of Ft 811 mln in the first half of 2005 due to investment and new hires. OTP said on Friday that increasing the activity of OBR’s retail division is in line with its earlier declared aim to increase the Romanian subsidiary’s current market share of around 1% to 4-5% on a 3-5 years’ horizon. OTP earlier said it planned to invest $100 mln in the small bank in the next five years. OTP plans to open 100 new branches in the near future, 22 of them in 2005.

OTP Bank bought 100% of OBR, that time called RoBank, in April 2004 for € 47.5 mln, equivalent to about twice the bank's net assets. OTP Bank is Hungary's biggest commercial bank, and has units in Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Slovakia. OTP is in the competition for a majority stake between 50%-plus-one-vote and 75% in Casa de Economii si Consemnatiuni (CEC), Romania's fourth largest bank. OTP had consolidated net profits of Ft 76.4 bln in H1 2005, 16.9% up yr/yr.