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Raiffeisen Bank plans to construct Budapest's tallest building

Raiffeisen, the Austrian lender that spent $2 billion in the past six years to expand in eastern Europe, plans to construct Budapest's tallest building for its Hungarian units.

As we reported yesterday, Vienna-based Raiffeisen International Bank AG wants to erect a 110-meter (361 feet) building in the north of the city to house divisions that are now in four different locations, the company said on its Web site. The complex will include smaller buildings for residential and retail use, as well as offices for rent, according to the statement. The top of the new Raiffeisen headquarters, to be completed by 2009, will be 14 meters higher than the Hungarian capital's Parliament and St. Stephen's cathedral, currently the tallest buildings.

Raiffeisen, which opened 75 branches in Hungary in the past three years, plans to put up 1,500 of its 3,700 workers in the new building. The complex will have total floor space of 60,000 square meters (645,835 square feet). The lender's Hungarian property unit manages Ft 180 billion ($862 million) worth of real estate, giving it a quarter of the country's market, Raiffeisen said. The new building will cost as much as Ft 28 billion ($134 million) to construct, Magyar Hirlap reported yesterday. (Bloomberg)