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Budapest Bank lending losses under market average in 2009

Budapest Bank, the Hungarian unit of GE Capital, satisfied its clients and its owner in 2009, guarding its stability and keeping lending losses low, compared to the market average, through prudent risk management, CEO Sean Morrissey told MTI on Tuesday when asked about the bank's annual shareholders meeting.

Thanks to its strong liquidity position, Budapest Bank continued its retail and SME lending in 2009, although it moved in the direction of forint - instead of forex - lending, Morrissey said. The proportion of loans on which borrowers were more than 90 days behind on repayments was just 3% of the entire lending profile, and the ratio of loans on which borrowers were more than 30 days behind on repayments reached 6.2%, and this was manageable, the CEO added.

Retail and SME clients will remain the main focus of the bank's strategy, Morrissey said.

The AGM on Tuesday approved a proposal by the board to place 2009 after-tax profit into profit reserves. It approved the bank's consolidated, Hungarian Accounting Standards P+L statement showing after-tax profit of HUF 12.9 billion, up 5% from a year earlier, as well as the balance sheet with total assets of HUF 909.8 billion, down 3% from twelve months earlier.

Retained earnings came to HUF 11.9 billion and pre-tax profit reached HUF 15.2 billion. Net interest revenue was HUF 57.9 billion. Budapest Bank was profitable in Q1, according to preliminary data, Morrissey said. The bank has 101 branches and does not plan any expansion, he added. (MTI-Econews)