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Csányi says OTP Bank planning to undertake regional expansion

OTP Bank Chairman-CEO Sándor Csányi said that the bank is planning to participate in the expected consolidation of the central and eastern European (CEE) banking sector.

Csányi told the daily Népszabadság in an interview published on Wednesday that OTP Bank would like to acquire banks in countries in which the political environment is stable, the economy is growing and the banking sector is expected to undergo rapid expansion, notably Romania. The OTP chairman-CEO said that the bank is also considering acquisitions in Croatia, Serbia and Slovakia as well as another, unnamed, country in the CEE region.

Csányi said that OTP plans to utilize the money the bank saved by not paying a dividend this year to participate in the process of consolidation in the regional banking sector and to prepare to meet the anticipated stipulations in the Basel III banking-supervision accords expected to be introduced later this year. OTP's excellent capital situation will enable the bank to comply with the conditions of Basel III, the OTP chairman-CEO added.

Csányi, who owns Hungary's biggest meat company, Pick Szeged, told the newspaper that he would like to increase the number of hogs that the company slaughters each year to 1m from the current 500,000-600,000, noting that Pick Szeged plans to build a greenfield plant if it receives suitable European Union funding for the project.

Csányi said that Fidesz's two-thirds majority in the new parliament to be formed in May could entail the benefit of making it possible to implement necessary reform to Hungary's local-council and healthcare systems. (MTI-Econews)