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Erste Bank Hungary plans investments of Ft 7 bln in 2006

Erste Bank Hungary will spend Ft 6 billion-Ft 7 billion to expand its network and develop its IT system this year, CEO Péter Kisbenedek told Econews on Thursday. Erste Bank will open 38 new branches in 2006, expanding its network to 200 branches. The bank will also open an online bank with T-Online, the ISP of incumbent telco Magyar Telekom.


Kisbenedek said Erste Bank Hungary has enough capital for its expansion, and it will not receive any cash from a recent capital raise at its parent bank. Erste Bank AG recently raised its capital by €2.918 billion which it will use to pay for Romania's Banca Comerciala Romana.


Erste Bank Hungary ended last year with estimated after-tax profit of Ft 17 billion, based on Ft 13 billion profit for the first nine months. Kisbenedek only revealed that Erste Bank Hungary's unconsolidated total assets rose 29% to Ft 1,436 billion in the twelve months to December.