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OTP takes over 300 ATMs from Euronet into service

OTP Bank Nyrt has taken over all of Euronet's 300 automatic teller machines (ATM) in Hungary from September 13, bringing the number of the bank's ATMs to 1,878, director of OTP Bank's bank card division Teréz Hargitai announced on Wednesday. One hundred of the Euronet ATMs are in Budapest. OTP and Euronet announced the transaction in March this year without commenting on the price. Hargitai said at the time that Euronet's Hungarian unit would still take charge of maintenance of the ATMs. Hungary's Competition Office (GVH) has approved the transaction, Hargitai said. GVH found that the expansion of the network and OTP Bank's increasing dominance on the market does not infringe upon competition regulations, she said. There were 3,531 ATMs operating in Hungary in 2005 with combined turnover of Ft 3,271 billion, of which Ft 2,200 billion came from OTP Bank's network of some 1,500 ATMs. The new OTP ATMs conform to international standards but integrating them into OTP Bank's own network required some IT changes, Hargitai said, adding that the ATMs had been put into service only after a series of tests. OTP Bank's bankcard transactions neared Ft 1,600 billion in the first eight months of 2006, 10.6% more than in the same period a year earlier, Hargitai said. The number of cards issued by OTP is almost 4 million. (Mti-Eco)