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SIA Group to launch regional expansion from base in Hungary

Italian financial services provider SIA Group is using its Hungarian unit, GIRO Bank Card (GBC), to launch its expansion in Central and Eastern Europe, SIA Group CEO Massimo Arrighetti said at a press conference on Thursday.

SIA Group wants to concentrate from its base in Budapest on markets in eleven countries: Austria, Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Croatia and Macedonia a part of its three-year strategy,  Arrighetti said. GBC is being renamed SIA Central Europe, he added.

SIA Group's Hungarian unit will be its Central European competency centre for management of ATM and POS terminals and transactions, he said.

GBC was established in 1992 as an issuer of bank cards and a provider of payment systems. It has been under the ownership of the SIA Group since 2007.

The unit managed 105m transactions in 2010, or one-third of the total in Hungary. It closed the year with net profit of EUR 1.7m.

SIA Central Europe employs a staff of 50 and has a portfolio of more than 60 clients. It manages transactions at 1,626 ATMs, or one-fifth of the total in the country, and at 18,533 POS terminals, almost 30% of the total.