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Hungary's OTP Bank to scrap foreign shareholder limit

Hungary's leading bank, OTP, is likely to scrap a limit on the amount of shares a foreigner can own, prompting speculation in Hungarian media on Wednesday that the bank could open up for takeover in the future.

The bank is set to discuss scrapping the 50% share limit at its next general meeting, although it will still institute a 50% limit on foreign voting rights. Nonetheless, business daily Napi Gazdaság said that this would not prevent a takeover bid, particularly if the bank keeps growing. The bank posted an 18.4% year-on-year profit increase to Ft 187.5 billion ($969.5 million) for 2006. OTP is the largest bank in Hungary and in recent years has embarked on a regional buying spree. (