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Ukrainian OTP unit may issue Eurobonds this year for expansion

OTP Bank, the Ukrainian unit of Hungary's largest lender, may issue Eurobonds for the first time this year to raise funds for expansion, said Dmytro Zinkov, CEO of the bank.

„We are thinking over the possibility” of a bond issue, said Zinkov in a phone interview yesterday from Kiev. „That is all I can say.” OTP Bank Nyrt, based in Budapest, bought its Ukrainian unit in June for €650 million ($856 million). The lender is expanding in eastern European countries such as the Ukraine and Russia, where economic growth is gathering pace.

OTP Bank, the sixth-biggest Ukrainian bank by assets, plans to double its staff and quadruple the number of its clients in the country through 2008. Ukraine's $105 billion economy advanced 7% last year. Banks' profits increased 51% in all of 2006, compared with the previous year, according to data from Ukraine's central bank. (Bloomberg)