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Inter-Europa Bank to retain all 2006 profits

Sanpaolo IMI Internazionale S.p.A. as the main owner of Hungary's Inter-Europa Bank asked the bank's board to propose shareholders to retain all 2006 after-tax profits, the bank announced on the website of the Budapest Stock Exchange (BÉT) on Monday.

Inter-Europa Bank (IEB) reported unaudited International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) unconsolidated after-tax profit of Ft 3.4 billion last year, up 67.5%. Consolidated after-tax profit came to Ft 3.74 billion, 80.6% more, and total assets rose 34.3% to Ft 325.6 billion on December 31, 2006. Italy's Sanpaolo started a buyout offer for IEB on February 12, offering Ft 4,074 per IEB share.

Sanpaolo IMI Internazionale S.p.A. acquired an 85.9% stake in IEB after its owner, Intesa Sanpaolo, was created from the merger of the Italian banks Sanpaolo IMI and Banca Intesa on January 1, 2007. Last year, IEB paid out 41% of its 2005 after-tax profit as dividend, and the bank paid out 45% in the previous year. (Bloomberg)