Raiffeisen to buy Czech internet bank eBanka
Tuesday, July 25, 2006, 09:24
Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG agreed to buy eBanka AS from PPF Group NV to expand in the Czech Republic by purchasing the country's only internet bank. The sale will be completed within two months, PPF said on Monday in an e-mailed statement. PPF didn't say how much Raiffeisen agreed to pay for the bank.
Raiffeisen, based in Vienna, does most of its business in eastern Europe and is expanding in the region to boost consumer lending. eBanka, started in 1998, focuses on clients with higher income and access to technologies such as the Internet. It had 117,000 core clients in the first quarter and a network of 154 branches and 46 automatic teller machines. Lubos Cerny, eBanka's current chairman and chief executive officer, will step down on the day of the bank's takeover, the company said. eBanka has been on the market for several years, but could make profit of 10.5 million Czech korunas ($470,000) only last year, which is a significant improvement compared to the previous years’ loss of 271 million Czech korunas ($60.89 million). (Bloomberg, Világgazdaság)